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Mercy Itohan Osayi is a remarkable individual dedicated to empowering women and youth across Canada. As the President and Founder of Women of Dignity International (WODI), a respected nonprofit organization based in Canada, she tirelessly advocates for initiatives aimed at nurturing individuals, fostering personal growth, and building stronger communities.

Educational Journey and Professional Expertise

Mercy’s educational path began at Auchi Polytechnic, where she earned a diploma in Mass Communication. She continued her studies at Delta State University for her Bachelor’s degree and later pursued a master’s degree at the University of Lagos. With a solid educational background, she entered the professional world with public relations, customer protection, and counseling expertise.

Mercy Itohan Osayi WODI
Mercy Itohan Osayi

Her career has seen her in various roles, from her early days as a trainee Executive at The Quadrant Public Relations to her position as the Client Protection and Support Manager at LAPO Microfinance Bank. Mercy has consistently shown dedication to making a difference throughout her journey, earning certifications in Canadian Retail and Customer Service, Workplace Essentials, and Customer Service Excellence, among others.

Community Engagement and Leadership

Beyond her professional endeavours, Mercy actively engages in her community, serving on the boards of esteemed organizations and foundations in Canada. Her leadership and commitment to social impact have been crucial in driving positive change and fostering collaboration among community stakeholders.

Empowering Through Women of Dignity International (WODI)

Under Mercy’s guidance, Women of Dignity International (WODI) has spearheaded numerous initiatives to empower women and youth. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, WODI provides training and support to countless individuals, equipping them with the tools and resources necessary to thrive personally and professionally.

The Outstanding Dignified Personalities Award

The Outstanding Dignified Personalities Award is a heartfelt endeavor aimed at acknowledging and celebrating exceptional individuals who embody dignity, resilience, and compassion. This award serves as a platform to spotlight individuals whose remarkable achievements and contributions often go unnoticed, inspiring others and cultivating a culture of excellence and empowerment within communities. The event is curated with the aim of encouraging individuals to pursue greatness and make a meaningful difference in the world.

Passion for Black History and the Community

Mercy’s passion for celebrating Black history and preserving the community shines through in her work. She recognizes the importance of honoring and preserving the rich heritage and contributions of Black individuals and communities. Through her advocacy and initiatives at WODI, Mercy actively promotes awareness and appreciation for Black history and culture.

Cultural Love for Edo Culture

Mercy’s cultural love for Edo culture is evident in her dedication to preserving and promoting ts traditions and values. As a proud representative of the Edo community, she strives to celebrate its rich heritage and share its unique identity with others. Through her involvement in cultural events and initiatives, Mercy seeks to inspire pride and appreciation for Edo culture among Canadians.

Personal Life and Commitment to Empowerment

Beyond her professional and community roles, Mercy is a devoted wife and mother. Her unwavering dedication to empowering women and youth is a testament to the transformative power of compassion and commitment. Through her leadership at WODI and active involvement in her community, she continues to shape a brighter future for future generations.

Meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

During a Black History Month event in Ottawa, Mercy had the honor of meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. On this occasion, she presented him with an award recognizing his efforts to foster an inclusive environment for women, youth, and diverse communities across Canada.

 Mercy’s Accolades and Achievements

Throughout her illustrious career dedicated to empowering women and youth, Mercy Itohan Osayi has garnered numerous accolades and recognitions for her outstanding contributions to society. Among her notable awards are the Smart Smile Matters Award, the Community Service Award, and the Service Appreciation Award, all of which she received in Canada. These honors underscore Mercy’s unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on her community and beyond.

Learn more about Mercy and her work via:

Her website: www.wodiwomenimpact.ca

Email: wodicommunity@gmail.com

Starting a business in Canada is an exciting venture, but navigating the registration process can seem daunting. However, with the right tools and guidance, you can streamline the process and set your entrepreneurial journey on the path to success. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to registering a company in Canada, along with the essential tools you need to get started.

Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure

Before you begin the registration process, it’s crucial to determine the most suitable business structure for your venture. In Canada, the most common business structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and cooperative. Each structure has its own advantages and considerations, so take the time to research and select the one that aligns with your business goals and objectives.

Step 2: Conduct a Name Search

Once you’ve decided on your business structure, the next step is to conduct a name search to ensure that your chosen business name is available and compliant with Canadian regulations. The name search can be done online through the Canadian government’s website or by using third-party services that specialize in business name searches.

Step 3: Register Your Business

After confirming the availability of your chosen business name, you can proceed to register your business with the appropriate authorities. The registration process may vary depending on your business structure and location, but it typically involves submitting the necessary documents and paying the required fees. You can register your business online through the Canadian government’s website or by mail.

Step 4: Obtain Necessary Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your business and its location, you may need to obtain specific licenses and permits to operate legally in Canada. These may include municipal licenses, provincial licenses, and industry-specific permits. Research the requirements for your industry and location to ensure compliance with all relevant regulations.

Step 5: Set Up Your Business Banking and Accounting Systems

Once your business is registered and licensed, it’s essential to set up your banking and accounting systems to manage your finances effectively. Open a business bank account to separate your personal and business finances, and consider using accounting software to track income, expenses, and taxes. This will help you stay organized and compliant with Canadian financial regulations.

Essential Tools for Getting Started:

  • Business Name Search Tool: Use online tools provided by the Canadian government or third-party services to conduct a name search and ensure availability.
  • Online Registration Portals: Take advantage of online registration portals offered by the Canadian government to streamline the registration process.
  • Legal and Accounting Services: Consider hiring legal and accounting professionals to assist with the registration process and ensure compliance with Canadian regulations.
  • Business Banking Services: Research and compare business banking options to find a financial institution that offers the services and features you need to manage your finances effectively.
  • Accounting Software: Invest in accounting software to track income, expenses, and taxes, and streamline your financial management processes.

For specific registration procedures and to access online registration portals, business owners should visit the corresponding government website based on their province or territory. Some examples include:

  1. Corporations Canada (for federal incorporation)
  2. Ontario Business Registry (for Ontario businesses)
  3. British Columbia Registry Services (for British Columbia businesses)
  4. Alberta Registries (for Alberta businesses)
  5. Registraire des entreprises (for Quebec businesses)

Business owners should visit the website corresponding to their location for accurate and up-to-date registration information.

Registering a company in Canada may seem overwhelming at first, but with the right tools and resources, you can navigate the process smoothly and efficiently. By following the steps outlined in this guide and leveraging essential tools and services, you’ll be well-equipped to establish your business and embark on a successful entrepreneurial journey in Canada.

Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade (KoS) emerges as a distinguished professional, pioneering excellence at the intersection of real estate and law. With over two decades of experience and a relentless commitment to innovation, KoS has carved a unique path in both Canada and Nigeria.

A Journey of Excellence

Armed with a degree in law from a prestigious institution in the United Kingdom, KoS’s journey began with a firm foundation in legal practice. Over the years, she has seamlessly woven her legal expertise into the intricate realm of real estate, navigating diverse cultural and regulatory landscapes with finesse.

Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade
Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade (L) and Greenland Concept associate (R)

Entrepreneurial Vision

As the visionary Founder of Greenland Concepts Nigeria Limited, KoS embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship and people empowerment. Her recent expansion into Canada with the opening of another Greenland Concepts office signifies her dedication to global growth and the pursuit of excellence in real estate.

Leadership and Impact

Beyond her corporate endeavors, KoS is deeply committed to community development and holds active memberships in prominent professional associations. Her leadership as the Managing Director of Nigeria Police Force Property Development and Construction Company Limited continues to shape the legal and business landscape, leaving an indelible mark on the professional community.

Inspiring Others

KoS’s journey serves as an inspiration to aspiring professionals and entrepreneurs alike. Her resilience, adaptability, and unwavering commitment to excellence stand as a testament to the power of visionary leadership in driving societal change and fostering growth.

Conclusion

In a world where borders are transcended by expertise, Kemi Olomola-Sijuwade (KoS) stands as a beacon of inspiration—a woman seamlessly integrating legal finesse and real estate proficiency on an international stage. As she continues to shape the landscapes of both Canada and Nigeria, she remains dedicated to fostering growth, navigating complexities, and contributing to the vibrant tapestry of real estate and law in both nations.

Amidst the vibrant culinary landscape of Ontario, Canada, one name resonates – Beauty Obasuyi. Hailing from Nigeria, Beauty’s trajectory to acclaim as a Canadian Chef and accomplished real estate agent underscores the resilience, determination, and unwavering pursuit of her passions.

A Single Mother’s Odyssey

Beauty’s story begins as a single mother of two who decided to relocate to Canada in search of new opportunities. With limited resources, she faced the daunting challenge of survival. Undeterred, Beauty turned to what she knew best – cooking. She started offering her culinary creations from house to house, catering to busy families and single parents needing a convenient and delicious solution.

Beauty Naija Jollof

Venturing into Real Estate

As her culinary talents gained recognition, Beauty saved enough to transition into the world of real estate. For eight years, she served as a licensed real estate agent, helping clients find homes beyond bricks and mortar – homes that told stories and fulfilled aspirations. Her narrative of migration and triumph uniquely positioned her to connect with clients on a deeper level.

Naija Jollof: Culinary Excellence Takes Center Stage

Driven by her unwavering passion for cooking, Beauty combined her love for food with her entrepreneurial spirit. The result? The birth of “Naija Jollof,” a restaurant rapidly becoming Canada’s largest African restaurant chain. With five locations spread across Ontario – Waterloo, downtown Toronto, North York, Brampton, and Mississauga – Naija Jollof introduces vibrant African flavours to the Canadian palate.

Beyond the Kitchen: Philanthropy and Giving Back

Beauty’s journey isn’t confined to the realms of food and real estate. Through her foundation, Starlight Home Organization, she actively contributes to her community by providing meals to the underprivileged in Toronto. Her commitment to philanthropy is a testament to her belief in the transformative power of giving back.

A Beacon of Hope and Empowerment

Beauty Obasuyi’s remarkable journey from Nigeria to Canada, her culinary prowess, dedication to philanthropy, and success in real estate make her a beacon of hope and empowerment. Her story resonates as a personal triumph and an inspiration for those facing challenges in their journeys.

Guinness World Record Cooking Marathon: A Culinary Feat Unveiled

In an extraordinary stride toward culinary greatness, Beauty Obasuyi is set to embark on a Guinness World Record Cooking Marathon. From January 10th to 18th 2023, she will showcase her culinary expertise by cooking non-stop for 8 days, igniting taste buds and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in gastronomy.

Connect with Beauty Obasuyi

Beauty invites you to experience culinary excellence, explore philanthropic opportunities, and seek expert real estate advice. Follow her journey and connect for a taste of the extraordinary via her social media pages and website.

 

The vibrant and diverse Nigerian community in Canada is set to come together in a grand celebration of their culture and heritage at Naija Fest 2023. This event, slated for October 7th, will take place at the elegant Renaissance by the Creek, Mississauga, promising a day of excitement, entertainment, and unity.

Naija Fest 2023 is much more than just a festival; it is a testament to the resilience, unity, and creativity of the Nigerian diaspora in Canada. The event aims to bring together Nigerians from all walks of life to celebrate their rich cultural heritage, foster meaningful connections, and showcase the incredible creativity within the community.

Naijafest 2023
President of Network of Nigerians in Canada, Uche Okugo (middle), Pamela Anoliefo of Redluxe Consulting and a guest

Uche Okugo, the President of the Network of Nigerians in Canada, highlighted the importance of Naija Fest 2023: “This event is a testament to the vibrant tapestry of our Nigerian community in Canada. It’s a day for us to come together, celebrate our roots, and strengthen the bonds that connect us as Nigerians living in this beautiful country. Naija Fest is an opportunity to showcase our culture, art, and talents while fostering unity and understanding among our diverse members.”

Maryam Muritala,  founder of Canada Vendors and a Planning Committee member, added, “We’ve worked tirelessly to ensure that Naija Fest 2023 is a memorable experience for everyone. This event promises something special for everyone from traditional Nigerian cuisine to captivating performances, cultural exhibitions, and networking opportunities. It’s a day to celebrate the beauty of our culture and the talent within our community.”

Naijafest 2023

Esther Ijewere, the Founder of Women of Rubies, expressed her support for Naija Fest 2023: “As an advocate for women’s empowerment and community building, I am thrilled to support Naija Fest 2023. This event embodies the spirit of unity, celebration, and creativity that defines our Nigerian community in Canada. It provides a platform for showcasing our diverse talents, and I believe it will further strengthen the bonds among Nigerians in this beautiful country.”

The event will feature a colorful parade, traditional dances, live music performances, art exhibitions, and a marketplace showcasing Nigerian-inspired crafts and delicacies. Attendees can also expect thought-provoking panel discussions and networking sessions that promote a sense of belonging and unity among Nigerians in Canada.

Naija Fest 2023 promises to be a vibrant reflection of Nigeria’s rich cultural diversity, highlighting the resilience and achievements of Nigerians who call Canada home. It is an occasion where the community can come together to create lasting memories, celebrate shared traditions, and build bridges for the future.

Network of Nigerians in Canada is a vibrant community organization that strives to unite and empower Nigerians living in Canada. Through cultural events, networking opportunities, and community initiatives, the organization aims to celebrate Nigerian heritage, foster unity, and promote the well-being of its members while contributing to the larger Canadian society.

Naijafest 2023

For more information about Naija Fest 2023, follow  @networksofnigeriansinca

Click here to get your ticket

Media Contact:

Naija Fest 2023 Media Team

Email: networkofnigeriansincanada@gmail.com

 

In the rich tapestry of Canada‘s multicultural landscape, stories of resilience and triumph often stand as pillars of inspiration. Among them, the remarkable journey of Rose Cathy Handy, an immigrant from Cameroon, shines brightly. From being the CEO of H.E.R Consulting and Services Inc. to founding the Celebrating Immigrant Black Women Excellence (CIBWE) Awards, Handy’s story is a testament to the transformative power of determination and community.

Creating a Vision of Empowerment

Rose Cathy Handy’s journey commenced with a simple yet profound vision – to create an event that not only uplifts the women of her home country but also celebrates and elevates Black women, both immigrants and natives to Canada. This event would become a platform to showcase their achievements, resilience, and perseverance in the face of adversity. With this vision, the CIBWE Awards were born.

Rose Cathy Handy

Shining the Spotlight on Achievements

The inaugural CIBWE Awards marked the realization of Handy’s dream. Beyond recognition, the event ignited a sense of unity and empowerment among Black women. It celebrated their strength and contributions, offering a space for their stories of triumph and success to be heard and appreciated.

A Sister’s Legacy and a Growing Movement

Handy’s commitment to her sister’s memory became a driving force behind her work. Beyond a single event, CIBWE expanded its scope and evolved into an organization dedicated to acknowledging and honoring the accomplishments of Black women across Canada and even beyond its borders.

Empowerment Through Unity

CIBWE has become more than an event – it’s a movement that amplifies the voices of Black women, providing a stage for them to share their journeys and insights. The organization showcases achievements across a myriad of fields, from business and leadership to arts and academia. In a world where representation is vital, CIBWE stands as a symbol of unity, empowerment, and positive change.

Breaking Barriers and Inspiring Change

The journey of Rose Cathy Handy, from immigrant to visionary leader, exemplifies the profound impact that passion and determination can have. Through CIBWE, she has crafted a legacy that serves as an inspiration to Black women, demonstrating that their excellence knows no bounds.

Uniting Dreams for a Brighter Future

As we applaud Rose Cathy Handy’s accomplishments and the remarkable journey of CIBWE, we are reminded that progress begins with a dream and the unwavering resolve to transform that dream into reality. Handy’s story underscores the power of unity and the potential to create a world where every achievement is celebrated, regardless of the challenges faced.

CIBWE

In honor of Handy’s sister and the countless Black women striving for greatness, her journey shines as a beacon of hope. It reaffirms that when individuals unite to uplift and empower each other, a brighter future is within reach, where achievements are limitless and empowerment is shared by all.

 Tracy Folorunsho-Barry Is breaking boundaries in North America, lifting other women and helping them find their paths in life. The Nigerian-born amazon is the founder of GROW Women Leaders and GROW Foundation. During her migration to Canada from Nigeria, she faced struggles with integrating into the country and lacked the proper guidance and support she needed as an immigrant.

Barry also found that her struggles were common for other immigrant women in Canada and decided to take action after freeing herself from a limited lifestyle. She took the initiative to start helping other women, especially immigrants, reach their full potential and access new opportunities regarding their careers. Since then, she has dedicated her career to helping thousands of women, especially immigrants, get hired and advance their careers.

In 2017, under GROW Foundation, she launched Project150: Accomplished Immigrant Women in Canada and the Speak Out Women series where she began gathering stories from more than 200 immigrant women across Canada who have overcome adversity to achieve success in their careers and lives. They shared their stories and expressed that they wished they had known about the knowledge, resources and guidance available for them to succeed in Canada.

She collated these stories and published the book; Untold Stories of Immigrant Women in Canada. Later in 2018, Barry founded GROW Women Leaders (GROW), a career leadership development and advancement platform designed to help women get hired and advance their careers.

In 2021, she opened GROW space, a socially conscious 7000sq ft facility that houses Nurture café, lounge, co-working space and more. For her contributions and community involvement, she has been honoured with various awards and recognitions such as; Top 100 Black Women to Watch In Canada, Top 6 Immigrant Women of Inspiration,  and a notable recognition by  Mayor Don Iveson and the City of Edmonton in 2020.

She shares her inspiring story with Esther Ijewere in this interview.

Childhood Influence

Growing up, I loved helping people as it came to me naturally, even though I had no idea what I would do when I grew up, I guess it has played a major part in who I am today. For example, my mother had a grocery store, and through that grocery store, I was able to help people who I thought were in need within the community. I think staying true to oneself has a way of showing up in one’s career path.

Inspiration Behind Grow Women Leaders

Coming to Canada as an immigrant and not having guidance, I didn’t know anyone. I had to go through the integration process on my own. The name came about when I began Project150: Accomplished Immigrant Women in Canada and the Speak Out Women series as Gradual Rising of Women (G.R.O.W.), where I began gathering stories from more than 200 immigrant women across Canada who have overcome adversity to achieve success in their careers and lives.

They shared their stories and expressed that they wished they had known about the knowledge, resources and guidance available for them to succeed. While collecting their stories of resilience, I realized the wealth of knowledge these women possessed and the valuable insights that they could share with other immigrant women and their communities. Thus, the book, Untold Stories of Immigrant Women in Canada was published. I wanted to inspire other women like me, and from there it grew bigger. While hearing others talk about their stories, it changed my life and I knew it was something much bigger I began GROW Women Leaders and I had to figure out a way to help more women to become women leaders as it is their careers that set them apart.

It is the idea of helping women and empowering women. But in this case, I’m doing it by helping women connect to companies. I want to grow people and build them up to become women leaders.

Tracy Folorunsho-Barry

The Journey So Far

No one prepares you for the entrepreneurship journey. It hasn’t been easy and still isn’t easy but the positive impact my work has on others makes it all worth it.

Being At Forefront Of Helping Immigrant Women In Canada Find Their Voice And Purpose, And Project 150

What started as a project has become so much more. I believe that if you have gone through challenges and you succeed, it is important to help others the way so that they don’t have to go through the same challenges that you have been through. It is the idea that I’ve gone through it and I want you to be able to succeed. This is the reason I do what I do today which has stemmed from Project150: Accomplished Immigrant Women in Canada and the Speak Out Women series through Gradual Rising of Women (G.R.O.W.), where I began gathering stories from more than 200 immigrant women across Canada who have overcome adversity to achieve success in their careers and lives. They shared their stories and expressed that they wished they had known about the knowledge, resources and guidance available for them to succeed. While collecting their stories of resilience, I realized the wealth of knowledge these women possessed and the valuable insights that they could share with other immigrant women and their communities. Thus, the book, Untold Stories of Immigrant Women in Canada was published.

Also Read: I Want Immigrant Women In Canada To Have A Voice

My Aspiration For Black Women In Canada, Especially New Immigrants Trying To Integrate Into Society

For those who are trying to integrate into society, it is knowing your worth. If you know yourself, other people can’t define you, I see that as a community of immigrant women. You may not know what you’d want to do but once you understand what your worth is, Canada will give you a space to do what you want to do. Canada has a lot of opportunities and the world is waiting for you. Follow your passion, and you will find your path. For every purpose, people are depending on it. I took an unconventional career path and I was able to help more than just my family, I helped my team, the women who use GROW’s services and more.

The GROW Space And Its Impact Since 2021

The GROW Space, is a socially conscious 7000sq ft facility that houses a Nurture café, lounge, co-working space and more. Nurture is more than a social lounge, we are a socially conscious in-house kitchen & cafe located within the GROW Space serving brunch, meal prep, catering, cocktails and more. Proceeds generated go back to supporting the women at GROW, supporting women, especially immigrants, to get hired and advance their careers. The impact that our space has had since 2021, it has been a space that is open for the public as well as our candidates to work and lounge in our space, while the Nurturers have access to amenities to help them develop and advance their career.

Challenges

I experienced a lot of challenges, especially since I was doing something unconventional. I never knew that there were negative connotations behind the word ‘ambitious’ until I started pushing for my goals to build a company that helps others. Ambition can truly be a terrible, terrible thing because for a society that pushes women to do more, can also be the same to say that you’re doing too much! With that being said, I didn’t receive much support and I had to prove myself a lot especially since I was trying something from nothing. People usually support what they understand and unfortunately, for a creative like me, it takes time for others to understand your work before they support you.

Being Recognized  As One Of The Top 25 Canadian Immigrants

To be recognized as one of Canada’s top 25 immigrants, is very exciting as it is a validation of my work and my journey to it.

Also Read: Hawking At Age 10 Made Me More Determined

One Thing I Wish I Could Do To Make The World A Better Place For Women, Especially Black Women

It’s what I’m doing right now, which is ensuring that everyone gets equitable employment, especially women. Although it is getting better, there is still a lot of work to be done for gender parity.

Being A Woman Of Rubies

I am a visionary. It is one thing to be a visionary, but then it can execute the vision.

To Young Women Who Aspire To Be Where I Am But Lack The Opportunity And Support

Keep pushing, push until something good happens. Your vision and idea are valid, stick to what you want.

Tracy Folorunsho-Barry- Grow Women Leaders

 Women Who Inspire Me And Why

Individuals who inspire me, are the everyday women who are usually unsung heroes that are constantly striving to create a better home, and build a better community and world at large. These women are the ones working in entry-level, mid-level, to senior-level jobs.

For Women Who Want To Join the GROW Community

GROW Women Leaders is a leadership development and advancement agency helping women get hired and advance their careers. It is FREE to join so SIGN UP NOW! Our digital talent platform is dedicated to helping women, especially immigrants, get connected to the workforce. We will connect you to our partner companies. Join us now! https://growwomenleaders.com/ See you on the inside where we all grow together.

 

Building a strong support system is crucial for anyone who has relocated to a new country, such as Canada. Moving to a foreign land can be an exciting yet daunting experience, and having a solid support network can significantly contribute to a successful transition. Whether you are a newcomer, an immigrant, or an international student, navigating the complexities of a new environment becomes easier when you have a robust support system.

This blog will explore five valuable tips for building a strong support system after relocating to Canada. These tips will help you establish meaningful connections, find a sense of belonging, and create a support network that will positively impact your journey in your new home.

Importance of Having a Strong Support System for a Successful Transition

Transitioning to a new country can be an exhilarating adventure but comes with its share of challenges. A strong support system becomes paramount to ensuring a successful transition during this adjustment period. A support system consists of individuals who provide emotional, practical, and social support, offering a sense of belonging and stability in unfamiliar surroundings.

The importance of having a strong support system cannot be overstated. It not only helps mitigate loneliness and isolation but also provides guidance, encouragement, and a sense of community that can help overcome obstacles, adapts to the Canadian culture, and build a fulfilling life.

From providing valuable advice and insights to offering a shoulder to lean on, a strong support system becomes a cornerstone of resilience and growth, allowing individuals to thrive in their new environment.

1. Tap into Community Resources 

Building a strong support system is essential for a successful transition when relocating to Canada. One effective way to do this is by tapping into the wealth of community resources available. These resources are valuable as newcomers connect with others and access various programs and services. In their new lives in Canada, newcomers can find support, guidance, and a sense of belonging through these resources.

2. Join Social and Professional Networks

Another critical step in building a strong support system after relocating to Canada is to join social and professional networks. These networks provide valuable opportunities to meet like-minded individuals, make new friends, and establish professional connections. Professional networks can include associations, networking events, and online platforms, while social networks can include local community groups.

Participating in these networks, newcomers can expand their social circles, gain valuable insights, and potentially find employment opportunities. It’s a great way to connect with individuals with similar interests and experiences, fostering community and support during the transition.

3. Engage in Language and Cultural Programs

After relocating to Canada, engaging in language and cultural programs effectively builds a strong support system. Language programs like language courses or conversation groups provide opportunities to improve language skills and connect with fellow language learners. These programs often create a supportive and inclusive environment where newcomers can practice their language skills and develop friendships.

Additionally, cultural programs and events offer a chance to explore and celebrate the diverse cultures in Canada. Cultural associations, community centers, and local festivals organize various activities, workshops, and performances that showcase different traditions and customs. Participating in these programs allows newcomers to learn more about Canadian culture and provides opportunities to meet individuals with shared cultural backgrounds and experiences.

4. Attend Local Events and Activities

Attending local events and activities is a fantastic way to build a strong support system after relocating to Canada. Communities across the country host various events, such as festivals, concerts, art exhibits, sports games, and community gatherings. These events provide opportunities to immerse oneself in the local culture, meet new people, and form connections with fellow residents.

By actively participating in local events and activities, newcomers can discover common interests, engage in conversations, and develop friendships with individuals with similar hobbies or passions. It’s a chance to expand social networks, feel a sense of belonging, and create lasting connections within the community.

To learn about local events and activities, newcomers can check community bulletin boards, local newspapers, social media groups, or online event directories. By attending and actively participating in these events, newcomers can enrich their experience in Canada and foster a strong support system that can provide guidance, companionship, and a sense of belonging during the transition.

5. Seek Support from Newcomer Settlement Services

Seeking support from newcomer settlement services is crucial in building a strong support system after relocating to Canada. These services are specifically designed to assist newcomers in their transition and provide valuable resources, information, and support.

Newcomer settlement services offer various programs and support, including language classes, employment assistance, housing support, cultural orientation, and access to community resources. These services are often provided by dedicated organizations, settlement agencies, or government-funded programs that specialize in supporting newcomers.

By reaching out to newcomer settlement services, individuals can benefit from expert guidance, connect with newcomers facing similar challenges, and access resources tailored to their needs. These services can provide invaluable assistance in navigating the Canadian system, understanding local customs and culture, and overcoming any obstacles or barriers that may arise during the transition.

Newcomer settlement services can be found throughout Canada, including community centers, immigrant-serving organizations, and online platforms. Researching and reaching out to these services early in the relocation process is recommended to maximize available support and ensure a smoother transition into Canadian society.

Building a strong support system after relocating to Canada is crucial for a successful transition. By tapping into community resources, joining networks, engaging in language and cultural programs, attending local events, and seeking support from newcomer settlement services, newcomers can establish connections, gain insights, and navigate the challenges of adapting to a new country. A strong support system provides emotional support, practical guidance, and access to resources, facilitating a smoother transition and enhancing the overall experience in Canada.

Oluwafunmilayo Akaka is an intelligent, astonishing, and beautiful lady who has been passionately following her dreams and doing the most to inspire her generation, older generation and of course the younger generation to pursue their dreams no matter the impediments on their way to success.

She is an aspiring beauty queen with a heart for philanthropy.

Childhood

Growing up in Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria with her mum, Funmi had a very humble beginning helping her mum hawk food but always reading all sorts of books she laid her hands on- newspapers and magazines inclusive, which was how she discovered the world of beauty and fashion.

She has always dreamt of becoming a model as she believed she looked and walked like Naomi Campbell; but her dream was dashed when she had an accident which left her both physically and mentally scarred. She lost her confidence and let her dream to become a model and beauty queen die.

While serving her home country in the NYSC scheme, her passion for music, empowering young people and serving seniors blossomed and with that she gave back to her community in Nigeria, Halifax Nova Scotia, and now in Mississauga in those capacities.

Regaining her confidence

Currently, she has overcome her fears, built up her confidence and is running for the title of Mrs. Canada United World. Some of her reasons for competing in the internationally renowned pageant is so that believers like her can start changing the narrative that beauty contest is ungodly, ‘you can be true to God, yourself and your values and still contest in beauty pageants’, she said. Another reason is to give a voice to immigrant women and older women, that their dreams are valid regardless of background, age and scars. She also wants young people to believe in themselves and never lose their confidence no matter the situation they may have passed through or passing through.

Causes Olufunmilayo Akaka supports

When asked what causes she supports, Funmi mentioned that women empowerment (while also encouraging them to embrace their colour and beauty!), children empowerment and seniors care are causes she strongly supports. Which is why she started an initiative for bridging the generational gap between seniors and young people; and giving both worlds opportunities to benefit from one another.

Singing, reading, hiking, and networking is what she does when not working or volunteering.

Funmi Akaka

Follow Funmi on Instagram to know more about her work.