As June is Pride Month in Canada, we took the opportunity to speak with Daroo Karajoul, an LGTBQ+ case manager within our Moving Ahead Program (MAP) based in Vancouver. MAP helps the most vulnerable newcomers overcome major barriers in accessing legal aid, medical care, and mental health support. If you have recently arrived in Canada and are struggling, our multi-lingual team is waiting to support you. Please contact: email@example.com
We hope you enjoy Daroo’s inspiring story of perseverance and selflessness.
I am Daroo Karajoul, a queer artist and activist individual who was born and raised in Syria. I now serve as an LGBTQ+ case manager in the MAP program at ISSofBC.
Prior to coming to Canada, my life in Syria was marked by significant discrimination and homophobia due to my sexual orientation. Sadly, I faced not only social discrimination but also instances of violence and even arrest, simply for being true to myself. Seeking respite from this hostile environment, I made the difficult decision to move to Turkey. However, I found that discrimination and homophobia persisted even amidst the backdrop of war.
Eight years ago, I arrived in Edmonton, Alberta, through private sponsorship, seeking freedom and safety. Since then, I have been actively involved in advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and supporting newcomers in general. After spending two years in Edmonton, I made the move to Vancouver, where I continue my work, with a specific focus on assisting newcomers, particularly those who identify as LGBTQ+.
Supporting LGBTQ+ newcomers
Being part of ISSofBC’s LGBTQ+ MAP program holds immense importance and fulfillment for me. As an LGBTQ+ newcomer to Canada myself, I can deeply empathize with the experiences and challenges faced by others in similar situations. My primary goal is to provide support to LGBTQ+ newcomers, helping them navigate their trauma and ensuring they can settle well in their new home.
My work extends beyond providing immediate assistance. I strive to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ newcomers, where they can find solace, heal from their past experiences, and rebuild their lives. Through the LGBTQ+ MAP program, I aim to raise awareness and promote understanding, fostering a society that embraces and celebrates diversity.
Remembering why Pride is so important
Pride is important to me because it represents a celebration of diversity, inclusion, and the progress we have made as a society in recognizing and accepting LGBTQ+ individuals. It is a time for us to come together as a community, to honor our history, and to advocate for equality and human rights.
My personal journey has instilled in me a profound commitment to empowering and supporting LGBTQ+ newcomers. I firmly believe that by fostering unity, compassion, and acceptance, we can create a world where everyone, regardless of their background or identity, can thrive. It is my unwavering dedication to this because that propels me forward, as I continue to make a difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ newcomers, ensuring they find the support they need to flourish and find their place within Canadian society.