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Joseph’s Story

By December 25, 2023No Comments

When Joseph was just 10, he, his mother, and two siblings fled Ghana, escaping the shadows of gender-based persecution due to his mother’s marginalized status in the country. They arrived in Canada filled with hope, seeking asylum and a fresh start.

Four years on, the hope has dimmed. War in Ghana has claimed their assets, and their asylum status remains uncertain. Joseph’s mother, burdened by her limited English, unfamiliarity with western education, and no formal status in Canada, faces challenges in securing a stable job. In her determination, she manages two part-time roles, constantly battling obstacles in housing, employment, and accessing healthcare. 

Basketball is Joseph’s passion. Despite lacking equipment and formal coaching because of financial constraints, he’s earned a spot on his school’s team and spends his afternoons after school practicing. He even shares his skills with his younger sister. But when he was chosen for a provincial tournament, the participation fees were too steep, making it impossible for him to join.

At the age of 14, Joseph is now considering an after-school job, potentially sacrificing the hours he devotes to basketball and his position on the school team. With the Canada Child Benefit, Joseph could have pursued both his education and his basketball aspirations. Instead, he’s caught in a system that does not extend equal opportunities to children without status, perpetuating cycles of poverty and racism. All children within Canada’s borders deserve equal opportunities to access their full potential

Disclaimer: This story is based on real events. Identifying information has been altered to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.