Program Manager , South Okanagan Immigrant & Community Services
Originally from Pakistan, Tahira began travelling at the age of four when her father was posted in the Embassy of Pakistan - Jakarta (Indonesia), High Commission of Pakistan - Dhaka (Bangladesh), and Embassy of Pakistan - Tokyo (Japan). She is fluent in 5 languages but argues with her husband in only English.
After completing her Masters in Public Administration, Tahira and her husband immigrated to Canada in 2007 and moved to Penticton in 2008. A keen observer, Tahira volunteered for Hot Docs and Luminato Festivals to learn about lifestyle expressions and creativity. She completed her Certification of International Development with UBC and immediately joined Rotary to assist the club in their International projects. Through Rotary, Tahira is involved in an International Development Projects in Bangladesh. The primary goal of the project is to provide clean water, suitable sanitation arrangements, income generation avenues, and hygiene education. She also volunteers with the Canadian Blood Services and serves on the board of Downtown Penticton Association (DPA).
While in Bangladesh, Tahira’s first mentor was a teacher named Wilfred Nelson who she addresses as Sir Nelson. She fondly remembers late Sir Nelson and how he, under his guidance, allowed her to make mistakes and taught her how to accept the consequences. He introduced her to the world of books and often repeated to her “reading will make you be what you want to be”.
Tahira leads South Okanagan Immigrant & Community Services (SOICS) in providing a range of free services to all immigrants and refugees in the South-Okanagan-Similkameen region. In her spare time, she enjoys decorating her home, visiting the Penticton Used Book store and increasing her bangle collection. Her bucket list includes a train trip across Canada.
New Faces, New Ideas!
BY TAHIRA SAEED
@ VOL 5
ON SEP 08, 2016
Tracing her own journey, first to Canada from Pakistan and then from Toronto to Penticton, Tahira Saeed illustrates and parallels some of the general challenges of moving to a new community with some of her own. She ends her presentation by expalining her own work and the work of SOICS (the South Okanagan Immigrationa and Community Services), and the value and vibrancy new immigrants bring to our community.