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Asian Star- Yoleen Naidoo

Native Village/Country parent’s background
I was born in South Africa. My ancestors immigrated from Bangalore (Now Bengaluru), India to South Africa. My dad is a businessman and my mum is an accountant.
Your Early Education
I studied computer graphic designing. Later I studied event planning with business. My work experience at the courthouse working in civil, criminal and children’s court and my love for the community has led me to now further my studies in mental health.
When & Why You came to Canada
I immigrated to Canada in 2003 with my parents. My dad wanted to immigrate, and mum had a dream that we should move to Canada. It has been the best decision we made. I feel blessed to be in Canada. I call it the land of milk and honey.
Your career advancement initiatives, volunteer work and present occupation
I am an active volunteer in the community, with my various work experiences it has enabled me to be a strong voice for the unspoken and it has given me the opportunity to help many people overcome their circumstances. I am an advocate for victims and spend my time going into dangerous places to help victims. I have done many media known and unknown projects through my community name COFFEE OF ENCOURAGEMENT to help the helpless and will continuously do so. My current occupation is a business development associate.
Your Regret in Life
I do not have any regrets in life. I am very appreciative of every moment God has given me to live, to learn new lessons and to give back in this lifetime. I was grown up with the principals of being honest, hardworking, empathetic, respecting my parents and putting God first. I have been through a few challenges in life, but with Gods grace and the principals I have learned, I have victoriously overcome them. It has taught me to be stronger, has grown me as a whole person and I have gained valuable knowledge through these challengers. The greatest lesson I learned through these challenges was the power of forgiveness. Everything in my life has been a good learning process and I have valued it all.
Pick Any One of Your Best Achievements
I have many achievements in my life. But I could have never achieved them on my own without the support, motivation, strength and principals that I was taught and instilled in me. My parents and their blessings enabled me to achieve the meaningful goals.
Were You Ever Discriminated?
Yes, once someone wrote an untrue story of me. I was so devastated as I always lived by my mother’s words that said, “it is better to have a good name than riches and I should always stand up for what is right”. I did approach the lawyers and the police on this matter as I knew this was all false. The first thing they told me was they deal with theses cases all the time and I do not look like I could do any of this. The police were already in possession of the truth. We knew who it was and with the help of the police and my lawyer who helped me through it by approaching and dealing with the person. The best advice the police gave me was not to worry, and people who know me, know the truth about me. That was so true. For a moment I let someone bully me and I felt victim to it. This situation brought me out stronger with the help of the police, my lawyer, my family and friends. That gave me the courage to stand up for teenagers and children who are being silently bullied. Children are so scared to tell anyone and afraid that no one will believe them. When you are afraid and do not stand up you become the victim of the person bullying you. That was when I realised bullying is a big and real problem, that needs to be addressed and who could be better than me to address this and work with officials to combat this problem. I had become the voice for them. I remember hearing a quote ‘Good always comes out of every bad situation.”
Are You Happy in Canada?
I am happy and blessed to be in Canada. I believe God has a plan and purpose for everyone and its my time to be here and to make a difference. I have learned and grown so much in Canada; I almost take a role of being in politics sometimes in changing circumstances and wanting to change laws for the betterment of the people. I have enjoyed every bit of it.
Any Comments on Canada’s Culture
I love it. We are a country of diversity. We get to experience different foods, culture and languages in one place. It feels like I am on holiday all the time. travelling and meeting people from all over the world in one city and I get to learn about their life, the beauty of their victory’s and lessons on how they overcame challenges. I know there is no other country like Canada in the world.
Any Comments on Canada’s Weather
We get to experience 4 full seasons. All the seasons in Canada are my favorite. Each season in Canada brings in new experiences and is filled with different activities, festivals and family cultural events, I would say where I come from in SA, I felt the winters were colder than Canada. In South Africa, our snow is mixed with ice and that cold bites you through your bones. There, our homes are made of brick, so heat is not retained in the homes like Canada. I would say South Africa has prepared me to live in Canada.
What Brought You Success in Canada?
God, honesty, perseverance and hard work. There is no other way.
Are You Willing to Help New Immigrants and How?
Yes, and most definitely because I was once a new immigrant myself. I believe Canada is built on immigrants. I have worked on a few projects to help them through COFFEE OF ENCOURAGEMENT – a program I started. I have linked many new immigrants to programs and to communities that have become their family to help them settle in. I am now in the process of making free libraries available for them. Books that they can take or share with others. I believe books are the gift to our souls. And knowledge is power. I love when people give me books because I know by the time, I am done reading that book I will be empowered by learning new skills and gaining new knowledge. I am currently working with a person who deals with new immigrants to complete the project. I noticed a lot of immigrants go through being misrepresented, being taken advantage of and experience various acts of violence because of language barriers and cultural differences. I am currently involved with an organisation who helps the children and teenagers of these family’s through these situations, to protect them and to teach them how to cope. Because I know the children are our next generation, and we got to have a positive impact and protect them from the injustice. Experience is the best teacher. And what I have learned I can happily give back.
Your Message for Canadians of Asian Origin
Do not forget who you are. Do not forget the good lessons you were taught and embrace new things by putting God first. You are uniquely and beautifully made and there are lots of things we can win or lose in life but the one thing you will never lose is your parent’s blessings which make good life. It is the biggest thing we are taught in our culture so never forget that.

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