Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
'It was like getting a second chance at life. My children have the safety to grow'
When Nina Condo arrived in Canada from Rwanda, she was wearing sandals. It was the middle of winter, she soon discovered.
"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I want to go back!' My first impression was that this was not what I wanted," said Condo, 30.
She laughs now, but 12 years ago when she arrived in Toronto, Condo was fleeing her home country for political reasons she still fears talking about.
A year ago today, Condo finally became a Canadian citizen. She said it was the final step in regaining her safety.
"It was giving me the security I needed and was missing," she said.
Condo was originally born in Congo. She moved to Rwanda in 1994, shortly after the genocide against the Tutsis, she said.
Since arriving in Canada and moving to Winnipeg six years ago, she has married and now has two children aged five and three. Condo is a counsellor at the North End Women's Centre.
"Here is becoming my second home, I was getting accustomed to the culture and my way of thinking and acting had changed," she said,
When she finally received her citizenship on June 30, 2011, "It was like getting a second chance at life," and finally gaining that safety for herself and her family.
"My children have the safety to grow," she said, "and if they do decide, my children can go back and see where their ancestors and where their mum is from."
-- By Jenny Ford
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 1, 2012 J5
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