A Selfless Cause

Pinky’s experiences as an immigrant to Canada ultimately motivated her to work in the settlement sector. In 2014, she joined the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office in East York as a Settlement Worker.

Though she studied physiotherapy in the Philippines, Pinky’s life in Toronto motivated her to change her career: “My interest shifted after all those experiences, and [now I’m] trying to help newcomers navigate the system.” Many newcomers often have to work outside their fields after immigrating. Pinky’s experience in the live-in caregiver program illustrates this barrier. Her work is invaluable to the settlement sector given her knowledge of the labour-related challenges faced by migrant workers. Pinky’s insights help her empathize with newcomers trying to find employment and achieve permanent resident status in Canada: “I understand, that’s why I try my best to guide them through … and spark hope”.

Pinky chose to work with newcomers because “the experience itself, the way I [moved] around in different situations here in Canada, it made me a better fit in my position.” Pinky’s advocacy for improved working conditions and changes to the live-in caregiver program demonstrates her commitment to helping future newcomers obtain adequate employment and services such as healthcare.

Pinky has made it her mission to help newcomers overcome challenges such as workplace abuse and discrimination, which she has achieved by bravely speaking out. Regarding her decision to take a stand, she reflects that “if it’s something that hurts the community, then you have to say something, because speaking out is not a bad thing.”

Pinky at her office at the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, where she worked to assist newcomers in the settlement sector. Image courtesy of Pinky Paglingayen.