27 Feb Rwanda in Sherbrooke: Omar Mutabazi’s ‘Never Quit’ Attitude
Omar Mutabazi, Rwandan Refugee and new Canadian
My name is Omar Mutabazi. I’m originally from Rwanda, and I have been living in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada since November 18th 2014. Before coming to Canada, I accessed the Canadian Orientation Abroad program as a Government-Assisted Refugee. I am glad to be in Canada as it is one of the most peaceful countries to live in, and its rule of law is among the best in the world.
There are two main challenges that we encountered back in 2014, the first being Canada’s extreme weather conditions. Our first winter was very harsh, and difficult for the whole family with temperatures sometimes plummeting as low as -45ºC. Canada’s weather bureau even revealed that 2014 was the coldest year in decades. You can just imagine how newcomers like us, from warm African countries, felt during that first winter of 2014!
The French language was another challenge we had to face on our path to our integration into Quebec society – especially for my wife and me. Amazingly, it was easy for our daughters, who only needed six months to pick up the language and fully integrate!
We all face tough and difficult challenges in life, no matter where we live. Some can be difficult to overcome, especially when the odds are stacked against you. Going against all odds is however something that we are all capable of doing. To overcome challenges you need to have that `Never Quit` attitude in life and stay positive all the time!
If you develop it, you will overcome many odds. Motivate yourself. Say “YES I CAN!” The challenge should bring out the best of you in this situation. Slow it down, think that process through. Develop that swagger in saying there’s no way you’re going to fail at this. If you develop that mindset, you’ll get it done. Stay calm and cool headed. That is what I opted to do, and it has served me right.
My family and now feel integrated into Quebec society. From the beginning, it was very difficult because of the language barrier and new culture, but with perseverance, it paid [off] for us. I completed my diploma in sales representation, and did my internship at Sherbrooke Record newspaper. I am doing three hours of French learning from Monday to Thursday, and improving my life day by day. I feel lucky to be in a caring nation that has so much to offer.