I was happy to see integration to Algonquin territory and indigenous culture related programming in 2014 WOW. Please continue to involve local Aboriginal organisations and…

Linda Manning
WOW 2014 participant, Senior Fellow, University of Ottawa
The Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre is so happy to have joined the OLIP Health and Wellbeing Sector Table. It is clear that OLIP cares about immigrants and refugees and…

Wendy Tang, Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre
We are very pleased to have done the “Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in Interpretation” report – it is so important to have clarity on these challenges and…

Hindia Mohamoud, Director, OLIP
OLIP helps to unite and share scarce resources for greater impact by working together in the field of student education.

Walter Piovesan
Associate Director of Education, Ottawa Carleton District School Board
My nomination is an indication that our hard work in building Canada is recognized. All we do is to serve the community in return for embracing us when we needed it.  

Mehdi Mahdavi
Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneurship Awards Nominee
The City of Ottawa will continue to play a lead role in the implementation of the Ottawa Immigration Strategy, just as we did in the founding of OLIP.

Steve Desroches
City Councillor and Deputy Mayor of Ottawa
All the WOW events that I went to were great – WOW does give a sense of a community trying to improve its attraction and retention!

Caroline Andrew
Professor, University of Ottawa
I’m really impressed with the level of energy and commitment around the Health and Wellbeing table and look forward to continuing collaboration between OLIP and OPH.

Marcela Tapia
Ottawa Public Health
In our city’s history, immigrants have always played an important role. They build our economic prosperity, diversify our culture, contribute to our social vitality.

Jim Watson
Mayor of Ottawa
The WOW seminar on immigrant women’s nutrition and health was a step in the right direction towards closing the gap between academic researchers and service providers.

Josephine Etowa
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa

Finding the right person to guide you on the long journey towards integration

June 14, 2018

“When you arrive in a country thousands of kilometres away from your home, where you hardly know anyone, and you have to start making the necessary steps to obtain a work permit, permanent residence status and eventually citizenship, there is nothing more enjoyable than to find the right person to help and guide you,” explains Christine Mukuna, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. “You often need someone who can coach and advise you on the steps required to complete the many forms required by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada.”

Léocadie Kabogoye and Christine Mukuna

The right person for Christine was Léocadie Kabogoye, a settlement worker with the Conseil Économique et Social d’Ottawa Carleton (CESOC), an organization that assists Francophone newcomers.

When Léocadie and her family came to Ottawa and Burundian refugees in 2010, they too had turned to CESOC for support. Now the tables have turned and for the last five years, Léocadie has helped newcomers like Christine in their long journey towards integration.

“Léocadie is very professional, punctual, and cheerful and is an extremely good adviser,” adds Christine. “She typifies Canada’s reputation as a country that is favorable to immigration. She takes the time needed with each of her clients, shows a great deal of empathy, while at the same time remaining professional. Léocadie is the kind of person who is very hard to forget. She is a true welcoming ambassador for Ottawa!”  Christine knows she can call Léocadie at any time, with any question. She has also become like a sister to her.

Every day Léocadie seems a minimum of four clients like Christine, many of whom are in a state of shock. Sometimes her clients just need sometime who will listen to them and guide them through the maze of services, programs and paper work. She shares her large network with them.

“I am so happy to receive this award,” remarks a glowing Léocadie. “It fills me with pride as I care deeply for Christine and all my clients and it’s so satisfying to see them grow and succeed. I personally benefited a lot from settlement agencies when I first arrived in Canada. This job is extremely rewarding and has given me a chance to give back and have a positive impact on the lives of refugees and other newcomers.”