When Paul Ebong came to Canada in search of a better life, he didn’t expect that CCIS would have such an impact on his entire family.
Paul originally moved from Cameroon to China to study and to work. It was in China that he met his wife, Cecilia. After their son, William, was born, Paul and Cecilia decided to move to Canada. It was a very difficult decision, but for William’s future, they took a deep breath and submitted their immigration papers.
In August 2004, Paul first came to Canada by himself to secure accommodations. Without any knowledge of his new environment and no family in Canada, he was referred to CCIS by immigration officials at the Vancouver airport. Shortly thereafter, Cecilia and William joined him in Calgary. Upon visiting CCIS for settlement services, Paul joined the Employment Communications Workshop and Cecilia joined the Career Bridge Workshop. “It was really beneficial for us to be a part of the workshops,” says Paul, “We learned a lot about the business culture in Canada and how to integrate into our new home, which is quite different from Cameroon and China.” Shortly after graduating from the workshops, both Paul and Cecilia secured meaningful employment in Calgary.
In December 2007, their second child, Adele was born. It was also around this time that William started to volunteer with the Immigrant Youth Outreach Project as a math tutor for newcomer youth in high school.
To this day, William is still an active volunteer and calls the experience “rewarding to help others, while learning about other cultures and making new friends”.
Most recently, Adele also registered with the Adventures in the Sun program. This summer camp allowed her to explore different activities around the city and make new friends. Says Cecilia “she came home exhausted every day from all the playing and would talk to us non-stop about all the new things she learned”.
Since the first day the Ebong family arrived in Calgary, CCIS has been a part of their journey to grow and contribute back to their community. “CCIS has really helped us to integrate and adapt to our new life in Canada. Without the support and guidance of CCIS, I don’t know what our lives would be like now. Thank you for everything!”