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Leaving Home and Coming to Canada

Intermediate Countries and the Separation of Family
- Richard Tshimanga

Time 3:17


(This audio is only available in French; the transcript has been translated from French.)

I stayed in Switzerland. I appealed and the appeal was always pending this time. The appeal was always pending, my family ended up here. That is: my wife, my daughter, they got to Canada. How did they get to Canada? When I left my, well, my country, I left my wife with my two children. I have two children, a son and a daughter. And since I was already wanted in my country, I left in a hurry and my wife stayed with the children. She always got bothered by the police, and the summons, to reveal where I was hiding, where I could be found, where I was, you know. They wanted to know where I was. With all that pressure, my wife had to move with my daughter, because at the time, my son was sick. They, they move to another country, looking for protection. It was Zimbabwe. Once there, they asked for protection, they were safe in Zimbabwe. They were recognized as refugees so they were refugees in Zimbabwe. They? they left my country. I left my country in 2004 and they? they left in 2007. And they sought asylum, they asked for asylum in Zimbabwe and they immediately got recognized as refugees. After that, with the resettlement program, it's? Canada brought them to this side. The Canadian government recovered them with the program, I don't know how the refugee program works. They got? they got to this side. And I was still in Switzerland. But I was in contact with my family. I was in contact. And I kept going on with my appeal in Switzerland. After that, since I had a good network in? relations in Switzerland., I stayed and I liked Zurich. And I started procedures so my family could come over to join me. I tried but it didn't work. One of the reasons was that I did not have permanent? permanent residency in Switzerland. So, since I didn't have permanent residency, I wasn't yet officially recognized as a refugee, and I couldn't officially bring my family over.

Oral History 12.06.06RT with Richard Tshimanga
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21