150 Ways We Love Canada: Cecilia's StoryThere are so many reasons why I love Canada that it’s hard to list all of them. By accepting my family as refugees, Canada provided us with a safe haven and a second chance to have a life. Canada’s kindness and compassion made me feel human again. Because of that, I vowed to make the very best of my new life, for myself, for my husband and two children, for the loved ones left behind, including those who were murdered simply for promoting basic human rights for all citizens.

Over 30 years ago I arrived in Canada with my husband and our first child. It was difficult to learn a new language and to understand a new culture. But by now we feel at home because we enjoy a freedom we had never felt before. We became ourselves again – with the freedom to reclaim our identities, to go out at any time of the day or night, without fear of never returning home. We regained all our human rights: the right to life, liberty, personal security, freedom from torture and degrading treatment; freedom of thought, of expression, of public assembly.

I am thankful to Canada every day of my life for the chance given to me over 30 years ago. I shall keep trying my best to give back to this amazing country which I happily consider “my home and native land.”