I gave one closer look at my passport. There; it was written- visa type: Immigrant! I didn’t know how to react. When we started the immigration procedure for Canada, deep inside it was still very hard for me to consume the Idea of leaving practically everything behind and moving away to a foreign country. We were close to our 40s; the uncertainty of migration with two kids was a lot to take– job, housing, food, culture, education for kids and most importantly starting a fresh new life full of unpredictability seemed like a nightmare to both of us. Apart from the fact that Canada is an extremely cold country we knew very little about the land. Right then through a distant friend we got connected to BCCB in Facebook. Then little did I know how this platform would eventually change our whole perspective about the concept of migration and most importantly- about CANADA!
After receiving our Permanent Residence we made a conscious decision to spend the first two years in Bangladesh. During this time we started to follow BCCB in Facebook and gradually got addicted to it. Like a bookworm we used to wait for its next posts. There used to be numerous posts related to living in Canada by the BCCB members - the ‘BCCBians’. Bit by bit we started to know Canada. Gradually our fears around unpredictability and uncertainty of migration to Canada started to take a backseat. The
warm welcome that every new immigrant received from the Canadian Bangladeshis was amazing. Their spirited support and words of encouragement reassured us that choosing Canada as our second home was not a wrong step at all.
So, what is so fascinating about BCCB? What does this forum offer me and my family? To be honest, regarding our settlement in Canada, we had been inured with the notion that little hope is there when it comes to getting positive support if sought from an NRB. Hence it has been an astonishing experience for me to find that every single query to BCCB by a new/old immigrant was attended spontaneously. Whether it was about finding a job in Canada, preparing an effective resume for job, finding the best place to rent or whether it was about filing taxes or about daily lifestyle in Canada, BCCB members had the answers for it all!
BCCB became a vital source also for my husband for gathering required information regarding his career; especially from the IT and Engineering professionals’ subgroup. And there we have, our very own BCCB-Women where I have the liberty to ask almost anything related to my daily living. BCCB started acting like a moral guarantor for us and became a favorite source where we also found charismatic leadership, awesome pieces of writings that made us laugh and cry, found totally unknown souls taking care of our every fear, and what not!
Going on, we will be ever indebted to that wonderful BCCBian from whom we came to know where and how to find our first place to stay in Toronto. Also, this forum fed us with critical information like places to get furniture at a cheaper rate, the schooling system in Canada, tools to survive cold and where to get proper clothing, guidance to develop networking for job, places to go to receive government help in times of crisis, how to apply for super visa for the parents and many more. There were times when I felt down and I had inboxed random BCCB members to know more about a certain issue on settlement. Every time my queries were entertained with utmost sincerity and I came in touch with some beautiful people without even meeting them once! That’s how BCCB became a source of hope and strength for me and my family.
The thought of being lonely in Canada also used to suffocate my mind. But today I’m confident that If a Deshi crowd I want to be with, I am going to get one there. All the activities BCCB organized for its members like river cruise, day out for kids and elderly, Bangladeshi night, different sports events-all those gave me nothing but hope. I, once a terrified new immigrant, now am eagerly looking forward to join all such occasions in Canada with the BCCB family.
Yes, today BCCB has become a big family without border. The way the forum preserves the very dignity and needs of its members is extraordinary. Our expectation with it has
only grown with time and we had never been disappointed. I wish all the best for the BCCB and its 19000 members.