Until he immigrated to Canada in 2011, Sudesh lived his entire life in a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal.
When he arrived in Ottawa, he was not fluent in English, experienced severe culture shock, and also had to figure out his identity in a new country.
Sudesh connected with United Way Ottawa partner the Youth Services Bureau (YSB), and accessed the Immigrant Youth Employment Program (IYEP). The program helped Sudesh learn valuable skills to prepare him for the workforce in Ottawa, which was brand new to him.
Sudesh is now a member of YSB’s Ethno-cultural Youth Advisory Committee, which researches and raises awareness of immigrant and ethno-cultural issues in Ottawa. The committee also runs community information sessions to help service providers better address the needs of immigrant youth.
Nearly 80 per cent of Ottawa’s population growth comes from newcomers. United Way Ottawa invests in programs and initiatives that help newcomers find jobs that match their skills and give them a sense of belonging to their communities. Since 2011, 9,760 newcomers got the help they needed to find a job and start a new life in our city.