Having turned 30 recently (November 29), I’ve gotten a chance to reflect on my life here in Canada from the ups and downs of my youth till seeing the end of my 20s. Being a child of immigrants and as an immigrant myself, there was a big adjustment period upon coming to Canada. From cultural nuances, to finding belonging in the scarborough and mississauga I’ve lived in, I think I’ve underestimated the experience of completely uprooting your living situation and adjusting as you go.
I didn’t grasp the implications of uprooting ourselves when I was younger. My parents told me “You’re much ahead than us when you’re at that age”. This sentiment remains true to this day because I’ve definitely received much more opportunities than they did when they were my age from educational, material and moral support.
As I got older, I realised I was also more disconnected from my own roots. I realized that it’s a big adjustment to raise a family while seeing your own children develop a form of communication you may not be used to.
This story is pretty common with overseas Filipino people and their families. They migrate to different countries due to the socio-economic conditions in the Philippines. They go to different countries such as Canada to seek better education and job opportunities with the hopes to reunite their family once more.
Coming here to Canada, we were able to have support while adjusting to life here. However, this sentiment is not the same for other migrants, including Overseas Filipino Workers. In some cases, they come here alone struggling to adjust and finding moral support. On top of this, they face exploitation from their employers getting paid lower wages, taking up precarious work, deprofessionalizing their credentials and don’t get many chances to reunify with their family.
This is why I want to use this opportunity to raise money for the Migrants Resource Centre of Canada. Over the past year, I’ve gotten a chance to personally know the staff and the work that they do for migrant workers in Toronto. They aim to improve the lives of migrant and immigrant workers by advancing their rights and dignity while working and living in Canada. Its role is to assist in capacity building and cooperative action towards full participation into Canadian society because it’s not an easy feat to adjust.
For my 30th birthday, please help me support migrant workers to realize their potential.