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“When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, give life a thousand reasons to smile.” 

December 18, 2019

Building Bridges is a program offered by PIRS that aims to provide immigrant women with the skills for their future career plans. Fatima shares her story of both struggle and success:

“It was always my dream to move to Canada as this is the land of opportunities. This is where people work hard and make their dreams come true. This is what attracted me towards the west throughout my childhood and teenage years. Finally, I got my break when I had already chosen a career in Pakistan and was comfortable doing that. However, refusing to try the land of opportunities would be something I would never go for as I was always brought up with the mindset of never giving up and it’s never too late to try. As John Hunstman Sr. once said “Never quit believing that you can develop in life. Never give up.” 

 I also had to make a hard decision about living without my husband and family here, as it was impossible for them to come here. At first, this seemed impossible, especially coming from a background where I was kept like a princess. I don’t even remember washing dishes which is weird if I tell anyone here. There were days when I wanted to go back when my mom passed away when I was having difficulties finding my first job in which now I’m the team leader. There were times when I questioned my life here as I couldn’t speak the basics of the English language, but giving up was never an option and will never be. Coping through all those things was tough but thrilling too. But trust me, every moment that I lived here was worth it. Independence was what I was missing all these years. It was tough to face all the challenges that came in my way but every challenge made me tougher and a warrior which is what I was lacking all these years.

 I met some wonderful people in this journey, who helped me groom and move on further. My life there was too easy which was not fun. It didn’t teach me life lessons and hard work. I would really like to thank the whole staff of PIRS, especially Tarana and Andrea. It wouldn’t be possible without your help. My journey hasn’t stopped yet, because this is not the end, this is not even the beginning of the end. Perhaps, this is the end of the beginning. As Charlie Chaplin wisely said, “When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, give life a thousand reasons to smile.” 

Fatima’s inspiring perseverance and capacity to dream big reminds us of what this journey is all about: to remember your purpose. Now, being the team leader at her first job, she embodies one of the main learning outcomes of the Building Bridges program: Passion and Direction. Fatima has grown to reach her goals with her community support and communication skills, and this is only the beginning. 

In continuing our mission to empower immigrant and refugee women, we offer such programs to make this vision into reality. Potential Meets Opportunity – support immigrant women moving forward! Donate now and help us grow our reach: