Krishnaveni Thamarai Selvan relocated from India to Canada in 2018. It was a bold move as she was on her own, with no support network and just the will to start life from scratch.
Krishnaveni’s life hasn’t been an easy one. She lived for many years in Saudi Arabia where opportunities for women are still scarce. She faced a daily struggle, experiencing discrimination throughout her life because of gender, caste, race, financial status and background. Her choices were limited, and many of her aspirations were crushed, but she continued to believe strongly in women’s empowerment and equality. And her family was supportive and encouraging throughout her journey.
In the fall of 2015, she saw Canada’s newly-minted cabinet of ministers – featuring women and people of colour – and it was a revelation. This is how a fair, just and diverse country should look like, she thought, a place where people are recognized for their expertise, capabilities and hard work irrespective of their backgrounds and origins. Krishnaveni, now in her late 20’s, started researching the requirements to migrate to Canada and realized she was not only eligible but also ranked high for the Express Entry program.
This changed the outlook that the outside world had imposed upon her.
Krishnaveni arrived in Canada in September 2018, with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and over six years of experience in learning and development under her belt. She also brought with her many dreams and the expectation to improve the quality of life for herself and her family.
Krishnaveni learned about MOSAIC even before she landed and has accessed an array of the organization’s services, including; Settlement Pre-arrival Services, Immigrant Women’s Employment Readiness Connections program, Career Paths program and Workplace Connections Mentoring program.
In her own words: “Never did I know that from the second day of my journey here in Canada until today MOSAIC would have my back and be there with me like my family. Right from my settlement here – helping me find a rental, MSP, tax filing, making me understand the Canadian work culture, job search, developing all the necessary skills, advising me on improving my career with the help of case managers and mentors. MOSAIC’s support is never-ending and I could go on and on with all that Canada has gifted me so far.”
MOSAIC became Krishnaveni’s second home, where she has made solid connections and created long-lasting relationships. She seized on the opportunity to volunteer at one of MOSAIC’s language centres.
And a place where she built upon her leadership skills, with the warmness, humbleness and charisma that are her personal signature.
Krishnaveni has natural leadership skills, and paired with her warm and charismatic personality, made her a deserving candidate for MOSAIC’s Dr. Kes Chetty Award, which was announced at the Annual General Meeting in September – only one year after her arrival to Canada.
She shares with us:
“Coming to Canada was the best thing that could have happened to me. Unpredictable steps towards the unknown have given me the life that I now enjoy and the great opportunities to lead a meaningful life contributing to the success of the community. While we experience challenges differently, I strongly believe that Canada is the country where dreams come true.
“My desire to give back to the community, from which I receive in abundance, keeps me grounded and makes me a believer in building relationships. I believe in continuous learning and growth in life and helping, guiding and making people succeed provides me the motivation to keep going!”
The Kes Chetty award has granted her such momentum to keep going. The money from the award will go towards an Adult Education certificate to leverage even more of Krishnaveni’s skills as she believes the purpose of life is to make some difference in the lives of others.
“A small thank you would not be enough to equate all the effort and support which the untiring, ever-smiling and friendly MOSAIC staff provide to immigrants. MOSAIC is like the Amazon of newcomers to Canada with its never ending list of services and tailor-made programs for each and everyone’s needs. It is a one-stop shop for any support that we need here in Canada.”
Here at MOSAIC we are very proud of Krishnaveni and her accomplishments and we will keep an eye on her. Maybe one day she will be a part of the cabinet of ministers that started it all!
MOSAIC is proud to annually present the Dr. Kes Chetty Award. This award will be made to a MOSAIC client, immigrant or refugee who wants to pursue academic or vocational studies.
Nominations are by MOSAIC staff for clients or volunteers who demonstrate a commitment to enriching the Canadian community (e.g. volunteering, community involvement).
For more information, please visit: mosaicbc.org/about/awards-granted/dr-kes-chetty-award