Mohammed Alsaleh of ISS Canada
“You are home now.” These are the first words Mohammed Alsaleh tells his clients when he meets them at ISS of BC. Years after arriving in Canada as a Syrian refugee himself, Mohammed now helps those whose shoes he was once in.
Mohammed had always wanted to become a doctor, to treat cancer and change lives. After four years of studying medicine in Homs, Syria, his fate was changed by the Syrian Civil War, when he suffered imprisonment and torture. Mohammed had no choice but to flee the country.
When Canada opened its doors to Syrian refugees in 2014, he was one of 28 refugees welcomed to British Columbia, Canada. Now, he finds fulfilment as a Resettlement Assistant Program Counsellor at ISS of BC’s Welcome Centre, where he helps government-assisted refugees through the challenges of starting over in a new country.
To be able to start a new life of his own, find people he now calls family, and work in a job that allows him to draw on his experiences, culture, and strengths are invaluable to Mohammed. He is able to help people and changes lives as he had always wanted to, and has found his life’s purpose.
Jana Webb is an entrepreneur who started JOGA, a.k.a. yoga for jocks. While her business has thrived and she has helped it grow brick by brick, Jana has had a tumultuous personal journey that includes two car crashes that almost took her life.
Robyn Coquelle started volunteering at Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA). Little did she know that she would end up quitting her job to study to become a veterinary technician—through volunteering, she had found the one thing she truly wants to do.
Roya picked up a part-time job as a receptionist at an auto body shop to help support herself while she was in school, but it wasn’t long until she realized that she was already where she wanted to be.