Rose Wani

Health Care Aide

Rose Wani - Image

From Sudan to Canada: dinner and a new life are served

Rose Wani is a star … to her friends, her family, and to her community.

On Tuesday, February 27, the 44-year-old alumna of the NorQuest College Health Care Aide program (2005), will be front and centre at her alma mater, starring in the documentary Seconds, Please!

The short film is a locally-produced introspective of Wani and her daughter making a traditional Sudanese meal in their Edmonton home. It will be shown at NorQuest’s Edmonton Downtown campus in the Singhmar Centre for Learning atrium as part of Black History Month. It is described as an opportunity to connect with an African immigrant family while being exposed to heritage and inter-generational cultural loss experiences. Following the film there will be an open dialogue led by a faculty panel.

“I have never attended any (official Black History Month) event since I came here,” says Wani. “I am looking forward to this one. It will be fun.”

Wani’s life after arriving in Canada mirrors that of many NorQuest graduates. Starting with no English reading or writing skills, she worked hard to integrate herself, both socially and economically. Determined to succeed, she enrolled in English classes and feverishly volunteered in her community in order to gain a grasp of her surroundings, and the language.

“In the beginning it was tough,” she says. “New work, new culture… The culture was the biggest thing, but we have to learn it. This is where we live. We don’t have any choice, so this is what I did. It is very important to integrate and educate yourself,” she adds. “For new people to Canada to earn the opportunity, we have to get out there. If you stay home and just think about it, it’s not going to come to you. The good thing about Edmonton and Canada, is when you look for that help there is always someone there to answer you, or to lead you to someone who can help.”

Eventually, through assistance provided by the federal government, she was able to finish her foundational education, and move on to becoming a college student – all within four years of arriving in this country. Now she is a 13-year veteran of the health care aide profession, working at a nursing home close to her home.

“Every day I feel like I am doing something good and helping someone who at the end of the day is telling me, ‘thank you.’”

In the beginning it was tough. It is very important to integrate and educate yourself. The good thing about Canada is when you look for that help there is always someone there to answer you, or to lead you to someone who can help.