My name is Izehi, and I arrived in Canada as a refugee in 2017. I had no
relatives or friends here, so getting a place to stay became my priority.
Someone suggested I go to Sojourn House, which provides refugee housing
and support to help them integrate into Canadian culture.
After going through the Sojourn House screening process, they gave me a
clean bed space and warm clothing because I didn’t have any. Days following,
a caseworker was assigned to me. She gave me helpful information on
navigating the refugee process and valuable hints on integrating into Canadian
culture. My caseworker linked me with various resources and gave me TTC
tokens whenever I went for appointments.
Sojourn House made me feel welcome in a new country by providing me
with a safe, caring, and inclusive environment. Employees listen to and treat
residents with respect and empathy, and they are proactive, professional, and
friendly. I and some other residents from across the globe emulated the love
and empathy that we observed from the staff. We (residents) connected well,
shared experiences, cared for and supported each other as one big happy
family. We continued to communicate when we left Sojourn House, and we are
still in touch now. Some of the residents I met at Sojourn House have become
like family; we invite one another to birthday parties and other gatherings. We
keep track of each other’s progress toward our goals. I witnessed how the
staffs at Sojourn House are committed to the service of humanity. The way they
welcome and treat refugees is impressive, so for the above reason, I decided to
pursue a career in human services so that I can make a difference in society as
While at Sojourn House, I was walking around the area and saw Ryerson
University. I concluded within myself that I would like to study there. A year
after leaving Sojourn House, I did my academic upgrade and got admitted into
Ryerson University. I am currently entering my final year at Ryerson University,
studying child and youth care with a minor in psychology.
Accessing health care as a refugee can be challenging. Still, Sojourn House
eliminated that barrier for me and other refugees by bringing in health care
professionals on-site. When I became unwell at Sojourn House, I had the
privilege of being treated and counselled by a doctor. The kitchen staff
recognizes that refugees come from various cultures and may be unfamiliar
with Canadian cuisine. Therefore, they occasionally cooked special cultural
food for residents. I liked that the staff kept in touch with me even after leaving
Sojourn House. I realized they cared about me and wanted me to succeed.
Overall, my experience at Sojourn House was pleasant and provided me with
the tools to settle in quickly in my new country. I volunteered in the kitchen
while at Sojourn House. I am now partnering with Sojourn House by making
a monthly donation to acknowledge and support their excellent work with