Hi there, my name is Aly Essa and I am a first generation Canadian. My family is from East Africa and India. I completed a Bachelor of Arts, at the University of Victoria, majoring in History and Religious Studies. I have a background, as an educator, from my time working for Sprott Shaw College. I am passionate about fostering diversity within my community and very happy to join the ICA team as a facilitator. I also have a background in Hospitality and Tourism, as a local business owner, and am actively involved in the Victoria business community. My hobbies include playing squash, cooking, and everything to do with coffee.
Kimiya Missaghi, Job Developer
Hi! My name is Kimiya Missaghi and I am very excited to serve and support refugees and immigrants in their endeavours. I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a specialization in Mental Health and Well-Being and I am currently pursuing a graduate degree program in Conflict Resolution. I have lived in and travelled to several countries and learning about other cultures is one of my passions. My experiences working with minority populations in job development include working with youth with developmental disabilities and/or mental health conditions. I am looking forward to supporting individuals from different backgrounds and learning from their experiences. When I am not working or studying, I am involved in community building activities, learning French, trying out recipes from different cultures, and staying active.
I have been working in the non-profit sector for over five years and I truly enjoy helping individuals overcome barriers in their community. Having immigrated to Vancouver Island from Sarajevo, Bosnia as a young child, I have always found a connection with newcomers. I studied Sociology at Vancouver Island University (VIU) and completed a European Master’s in Human Rights and Democracy in 2011. Shortly after completing my studies, I began work with the Immigrant Welcome Centre of North Vancouver Island (IWC) and later for two not for profit agencies in Vancouver. This experience has allowed me to see a wide spectrum of obstacles in our communities and I hope to use this knowledge, together with my counselling experience, in my role at the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) to help newcomers establish their set goals. I love being a part of multicultural events and I look forward to being engaged in the Victoria community. I bring with me a ton of positive energy, compassion and my dog Mili!