WOW Ambassador: Khatima Louaya
Nominator: Ruth Yaka Milenda

Building a Better Future for Canada

Ruth Yaka Milenda, a refugee claimant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, will never forget Khatima Louaya’s first visit to her humble apartment. “Although we had no furniture, Khatima sat on the floor with us to discuss our needs,” says Ruth. “It touched me so much. She helped me to find furniture and other items. Every time I call her she is there for me, even if it’s just to refer me to where I can find a certain type of service.”

Ruth came to Ottawa in 2016, with her two daughters and sister. They initially lived in a shelter and were introduced to Khatima by a social worker.

Khatima immigrated to Canada many years ago. In Morocco she was a lawyer, but changed careers in her new country. She works for the Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario (CEPEO), the French public school board in Ottawa.  CEPEO provides services and programs to newcomer students, but also to their families. 

Once a week, Khatima visits local shelters to evaluate the needs of newcomer families. She informs the families about all of the options available to them in terms of supports and community services