Fatuma’s HIPPY Story: ‘I want to raise a leader for the next generation.’

Fatuma is a Home Visitor at the HIPPY program at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia. But her road to getting here was not easy.

When her opinions and political ideology got Fatuma into trouble during her high school years, Fatuma had to flee her home country of Ethiopia and could not complete her high school education. In 2004, Fatuma came to Halifax where she balanced studying English and working.

In 2008, Fatuma gave birth to her daughter, Maryam. It was a tumultuous time as she went through a divorce and fought for custody of her child. On top of this, Fatuma had also made the decision to return to school to finally acquire her high school diploma. Balancing full-time school with the responsibilities of a single mom – without relatives to babysit her daughter – was tough but, in 2014, Fatuma graduated, both an honours student and student of the year.

Despite her challenges and her many accomplishments, Fatuma explains that being a mother is the hardest thing she has ever done:

“Parenting is not easy. It’s not about the number of children I have, it’s about how I raise them. I want to raise a leader for the next generation.”

After her work as a Home Visitor for the HIPPY program, Fatuma hopes to one day become a social worker. She believes that her work as a Home Visitor will bring her one step closer to achieving this goal.

“This will give me an opportunity to understand what the real needs of the community are. That will allow me to be more able to help them as I will understand their background and culture more.”

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