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WEconnect Job Fair
Threads Library
Women's Business Hub
Annual Diversity Awards Gala

Wafaa Alsoua

From Learning English to Opening a Successful Business

Wafaa and her husband Badie immigrated to Canada from Syria in 2016. In their home country, Wafaa was a math teacher and also helped her husband Badie run two successful businesses, a bookstore and a grocery store.

Following her arrival, Wafaa rapidly learned to speak English in our Language Training Programs. Within nine months, she had progressed through two Canadian Language Benchmark levels, CLB 3 and 4, and she then launched her business while continuing her language studies.

Through our NEED Program (Newcomer Enhanced Entrepreneurial Development), she learned about the different aspects of starting a business in Saskatchewan and local business requirements and regulations as well as how to network with other professionals, including one-on-one consultations with industry experts.

Now both Wafaa and her husband are working hard to bring delicious Syrian cuisine to Saskatoon. In the past year, their company Taste of Syria has become a favourite of pop-up restaurants at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

Gary Lu

Finding the dream job with our help

Gary Lu is from Beijing, China. He immigrated to Canada in June 2017, looking for work in the IT sector. After participating in our Skills4Work program and attending one of our WEconnect job fairs, he rapidly found a job as a Software Developer at Vendasta Technologies Inc., where he is still very happily employed. In the Skills4Work program, his employment counsellor quickly connected him with recruiters at Vendasta. Gary initially visited his soon-to-be employer and participated in a mock-interview where he had the opportunity to apply the advice and guidance he received from our employment counsellors. He now proudly works with Vendasta as a software developer in a team focused on providing digital marketing solutions to local Saskatoon businesses. In January 2018, Vendasta was named the SODS Employer Partner of the Year at our Annual Diversity Awards Gala. Gary was interviewed by CTV news and was able to share his success story. He loves the City of Bridges and his favourite thing to do is either walking or running along the Saskatchewan River where, he says, “the sight is always spectacular.”

Peace Akintade

A rising star of Spoken Word Poetry

Peace Akintade is a very talented and youthful person who is highly involved in her community. Peace is originally from Nigeria and lived in Kuwait for three years before her arrival in Canada in April 2012.  Upon her arrival, Peace became a participant in the programs and activities we organize for youth. Some of the programs Peace has participated in over the years are Spoken Word Poetry, Marathon Racing, Art, Hip Hop classes and Digital Storytelling. In December 2015 she took part in the “Moving Stories YXE Bus Tour: An Interactive Intercultural Art Exhibit” organized by the City of Saskatoon. Peace has always been an artistic person. She enjoys singing and playing instruments and performs with the Persephone Theatre Young Company. 

Through her involvement in the community, Peace has gained many new experiences. She obtained a certificate of completion for our Spoken Word program, which introduced her to this form of self-expression. Since then, she has performed her poetic work at several different events, including the four-day Women in Leadership celebration organized by the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union this past January. More recently, she performed during our first Global Youth Showcase as part of our 10th annual Youth Summit.

Last year, Peace was nominated for a Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award from the Royal Bank of Canada. On 2 March 2017, the Broadway Theatre screened a short film featuring Peace and addressing the topic of her first name as it relates to cultural identity. This screening was part of our event Across Generations, Across Cultures: Digital Storytelling.