Sameera’s Story

Sameera Mursal Alimi, a recent arrival from Afghanistan, shares her journey escaping Taliban’s takeover of the country and finding meaningful employment in Canada. This is her story!  

“I was on the way to the office when the situation in Afghanistan started to deteriorate. I had to return home immediately. I can still remember that day: August 15, 2021 

I had lost all my hope. It felt like a darkness has surrounded the country. I thought about the development, independence, human rights, women’s rights, and all the progress our country achieved in the past 20 years. I was anxious for myself and other Afghan women who studied, had dreams and hopes for the country and worked on achieving them.  

I studied my MBA in Dunya University and worked as an accountant treasury and tax in MTN for almost 10 years. My latest job was a Financial Officer at PAE CSSP- US Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Due the nature of my work, my family and I received a pass through which we could travel to Canada. I knew it was not easy to beat the crowd and get into the airport, but we did. When we arrived in Toronto, I didn’t have any idea what the next steps may be, I was just grateful that my family is safe.  

Upon arrival, I was ready to work. I volunteered with Poly Cultural team as a translator to help the newly arrived Afghan families. During that time, I received trainings from different organizations (including Jumpstart Refugee Talent) on resettlement, job search, housing, and skills building. I also received support to prepare my resume and boost my interview skills with the Jumpstart team. Shortly after that, and after passing the interview successfully, I was selected for the Financial Assistant Operation position at Journalism for Human Rights. It is an incredible opportunity for me and a proud moment for all my family; having started this position after only few months of arriving.  

In addition to resettling to Canada, searching for jobs, preparing for interviews and being a full-time mom, I was also continuing my job in Afghanistan. It was challenging for me to cope with all these difficulties and prepare for job interviews with a peaceful mind, but I knew that hard work pays off. I had determination and confidence in myself, and I believed that I will achieve my goals if I try hard and never give up. 

I want to spread this message: Never lose hope and never quit. It may seem impossible, challenging, heart breaking and devastating, but there is always hope, an opportunity, and a light on the other side. We can achieve what we aim for, it just needs hard work and confidence. 

For more information about Jumpstart’s Refugee Talent Hub Program, visit https://jumpstartrefugee.ca/programs/talent/