Episode 3: Overcoming hardships, together
Our third episode of KottageVision is an extra special one as Executive Director Janine Fraser had the opportunity to sit down with Alberta’s newly appointed Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Salma Lakhani.
Throughout the interview, her Honour shared her incredible story of overcoming adversity and hardship. After being expelled from her home country in the 1970s, she and her family were forced to build a life apart from the place they had always called home.
With a deep understanding of what it means to be resilient, her honour explained how those experiences have shaped her into who she is and instilled in her a passion for giving back to those in need.
While we believe this is an episode you are going to want to see in full, we have outlined a few of the highlights below:
Overcoming hardships...together (7:27)
During the period of time, Lieutenant Governor Lakhani’s family was being expelled from Uganda, she and her now-husband were living in the United Kingdom attending university. She explained how there were a variety of people and organizations that stepped up to show support. Something she said she never takes for granted.
Before migrating to Canada in 1977, she expressed how the British government, as well as their university, provided financial aid due to the fact that they were cut off from their finances in Uganda. When they did migrate to Canada they found community in fellow Ugandan migrants and the Islami community.
“A lot of people helped us during our time of need, and we are always grateful for that,” Lakhani explained. “That’s why we have empathy for people who face challenges in life; often at no fault of their own.”
While there is a gamut of reasons families need help from Kids Kottage, a common theme is lack of support. It really does take a community supporting one another to drive success.
What does it mean to be resilient? (13:23)
Janine and her Honour dive into what it takes to overcome hardships and foster resilience. Part of their conversation highlights the importance of being rooted in a caring and supportive environment. When you know you have a community you can lean on, it gives you strength and hope to persevere.
“When we were expelled our whole world came crashing down,” Lieutenant Governor Lakhani explained. “But, we knew we would get through it because we had support. We were raised in a loving, caring, and supportive environment. That is what resilience is to me.”
Just as her Honour expressed the support she and her family had, she explained the importance of providing that same support to those in our own community who are in need.
“Children are our future,” Lieutenant Governor Lakhani expressed. “Every child deserves to have a caring, loving, warm environment that helps them grow into resilient adults. And hopefully, in their own way and time, they will help others in their time of need and contribute to building strong, resilient communities.”
If we can make a difference, we should (18:38)
“In everything I have done, I have always felt that if I can make a difference I would like to,” Lieutenant Governor Lakhani expressed. “If there is a cause I believe in, and I feel like I can make a difference, then I get involved. And I become an ambassador for them.”
As an individual who understands what it means to face seemingly insurmountable challenges, like so many families who come to the Kottage, Lieutenant Governor Lakhani explained how she hopes her appointment will serve as an inspiration and as hope to those who are currently enduring difficult times.
“By helping others, they can also achieve great things in life,” she said. “They can reach their potential and achieve their dreams.”
It was an absolute honour to have Lieutenant Governor Lakhani take time out of her busy schedule to visit the Kottage and meet our team. We have said it before, and it is something we will continue to say - we truly cannot express how fortunate we are to live in a country, province, and city where our leaders are so in tune with caring for the most vulnerable among us and building a strong and resilient future for all.
We hope you enjoy watching this episode as much as we did creating it. If you would like to learn more about her Honour, you can visit https://www.alberta.ca/aoe-salma-lakhani.aspx.
If you would like to learn more about how you can help support Kids Kottage, head over to kidskottage.org/get-involved. You can also follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @kidskottageyeg.