MCRC - 30 Years of Fostering New Beginnings

Margaret Chisholm Resettlement Centre

Camron

This Was My First Home. Now, I Maintain it!

- Camron Firouzbakht

A person from the Iranian community brought me here. That was in April 2012.

I did not feel like a stranger. Like you see a place, and then you feel good about it. When I looked at the house, it was like I saw a home.

I was a refugee claimant in Canada.

When I came, the first person I saw was Elvira, our receptionist.

They called Margaret (Styczynska), the manager of Resettlement and Integration Services. Initially, Margaret was reluctant. Then they told me, okay, we will give you a place, stay for tonight and we’ll see.

I went to the room and at night I came downstairs. Zari, the night cook, then, gave me dinner.

And then I said, “Do I have to pay?”

She said, “No, this is for everyone who stays here.”

The next day when I woke up, I saw there was this paper showing the time of the dining room. So, I went there to the dining room.

When I finished breakfast, I went to Lishan, the caretaker of the building.

And I said, “Is there anything I can do?”

He looked at me and said, “What do you want to do?”

I said, “I feel I owe you guys. For this service and warm room.”

And he said, “I don’t know what to tell you. Do you know how to cut the grass?

I said, “Yeah, No problem!”

That was my first day.

Later I saw Margaret. And she said, give him a room for the night, and we’ll talk tomorrow.

You know, she liked what I did.

Second day, other duties, and third day and so on…

Slowly, they introduced me to Zeljko (the facilities manager).

I started helping every day like that. I stayed here for seven months.

MCRC did not have a provision to accept refugee claimants. But still, they kept me.

Now, I maintain the same house I lived in when I first came to Calgary. This was my first home.

I want this place to look great, always. You see, these people, the clients coming and going, things get broken. I help to fix it.

Camron Firouzbakht is a ‘Facility Maintenance Worker’ at CCIS. For over a decade, he has been responsible for maintenance and repairs of equipment and facilities at MCRC and CCIS.

DONATE NOW

Make A Direct Impact on Your Community by Donating to CCIS (Calgary Catholic Immigration Society).

We acknowledge all donors who contribute so generously to CCIS. Your contribution honours the courage and resiliency of Alberta’s newest residents.

Donations? Call Us: 403.262.2006

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