In the pursuit of life fulfillment and promising opportunities, a significant number of Kenyans choose to venture abroad every year. However, the challenges and hardships faced by these individuals, particularly asylum seekers, often remain unnoticed.
Meet Daniel Wanyeki, a 33-year-old who recently made the courageous decision to leave his well-paying bank job in Kenya and relocate to Canada. Despite having a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management, he had been working as a banker. Armed with his documents and belongings, Wanyeki embarked on a new chapter in a foreign land, unaware that this choice would slowly chip away at the happiness he once knew.
Upon reaching Ontario, Wanyeki found himself in a desperate situation, homeless and disillusioned, a far cry from the dreams that fueled his ambition. Unfortunately, all asylum shelters in Canada had been full since October 2022, leaving him with few options.
In an interview with CBC News Canada, Wanyeki shared his ordeal with correspondent Cara Nickerson, explaining how he was now forced to live on the streets of Hamilton. He had hoped for a good home and employment when he came from Africa, but reality had proven harsh.
Determined to overcome his current predicament, Wanyeki decided to pursue his driver’s license in Canada with the plan to become a truck driver. This decision came after careful analysis of the job market, where he noticed a labor shortage in that field.
In the streets of Hamilton, Wanyeki befriended another Kenyan asylum seeker, Cyprian Ontita, aged 37, who had been a youth worker in Kenya. Similar to Wanyeki, Ontita found himself without shelter, unable to find a place in any asylum shelter.
Despite the numerous challenges faced by the Kenyan duo, they found solace and hope at the Good Shepherd shelter home. Not only did they receive a roof over their heads, but they also found a supportive and understanding community that offered comfort during their difficult times.
Ontita expressed his gratitude for the support they received, vowing to give back to the community someday and work towards a brighter future. The Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) program employee, Susan Toth, believes that the increase in asylum seekers is often burdened by discrimination, as they seek safety, acceptance, and the freedom to be themselves in their new home.
The stories of Daniel Wanyeki and Cyprian Ontita shed light on the struggles faced by many Kenyan asylum seekers in their pursuit of a better life abroad. It is essential to acknowledge and support these individuals as they strive to find stability and a sense of belonging in foreign lands.