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 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 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
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
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
Canada has been shaped by people who came from all over the world to build this country. WOW offers a platform for us to celebrate this history and the future it will help…

Alex Munter, Chair of the OLIP Council and President and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and Ottawa Children’s Treatment Centre
The target beneficiary of the work of OLIP is the whole community. In this short period we have planted together important seeds for Ottawa’s development.  

Dick Stewart
OLIP Council
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
The work and expertise that OLIP brings to our community is so important as it helps us to build bridges and break down silos.  I look forward to our continued work together. 

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa
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

Immigrants of Ottawa Come Into Focus

June 26, 2015

We learn so much about others from the images we see and the stories we hear. But what if most of the images of immigrants these days show desperate people crammed onto overloaded boats, and most of the stories put the word “immigrant” next to the word “bogus” or “unemployed”?


Maria, from Iran.

 Nyamulola Kambanji is an immigrant currently working in Ottawa’s settlement sector. She has firsthand knowledge that those associations far from the complete story. Where are the pictures of the men and women living successful lives here, the talented people helping to build our city with their skills and energy?

Nyamulola decided to do what she could to correct the public impression and chose her camera as her tool. Inspired in part by the huge popularity of the Human of New York page on Facebook, Nyamulola created her own Immigrants of Ottawa page in April, 2014. She shoots portraits of immigrants living in the capital and includes a brief profile of each person in her Facebook post. Her joyful photos show people from Iran, St. Lucia, the Philippines, Zambia and many more, at ease in their new life, sharing their stories and reflecting on their migration journey.

“Listening to the migration and integration stories of different people, I appreciate their resilience and candour,” Nyamulola says. “This project also gives me the opportunity to meet new people, and share ideas and knowledge.”


Magdalene, from St Lucia

Each day during Welcoming Ottawa Week, Nyamulola is featuring a different portrait of an Ottawa immigrant and telling his or her story.

Annavic, from the Philippines, is featured in the main image above with her husband, originally from Poland. They met here and are looking forward to raising their child in the capital, a place they now proudly call home.

You can learn more about Nyamulola’s portraits and stories on Facebook and watch CBC Ottawa’s video of her in action.


Nyamulola, from Zambia