Survive or Help Others: The Impact of Inflation on Immigrants

Sandra Sassa is originally from Congo. In this inflationary period, it is difficult for him to reconcile his part of African and Canadian life. It’s really my mental health that suffers; to want to pull the two ends of the world, America and Africashe explains.

For her, sending money to her alma mater to help her family is a duty. I have a Western Union loyalty cardshe says, laughing at this symbolic piece which demonstrates the high frequency of these transfers of funds.

Sandra Sassa is a social worker.

Photo: Sandra Sassa

The Torontonian explains that a significant part of her livelihood is transferred to the Congo for the survival of the people there. However, lately, she has been forced to refuse more and more requests for support. A situation in the face of which she feels powerless. I feel like I let them downshe says.

It has been 30 years since she and her parents immigrated to Canada when she was a teenager. Today, a mother of four children, she confides that these three decades have hardly dampened her ties with her relatives in Africa.

His parents taught him that the extended and mononuclear family are equally important. We are very familyshe said, clasping her hands in unity. Moreover, with us, the terms cousins ​​do not exist, she adds. Hence his feeling of having to support his family in Africa at all costs. How not to do it given the reality [au Congo]?

Ms. Sassa says she has to prioritize her grocery bills while pushing back the deadlines for other responsibilities. I have to feed my children [si bien que ] tomorrow I may miss paying for electricity or gas.

For Ms. Sassa, having to say no to certain requests from her loved ones can also have serious consequences. For example, she explains that not paying someone for medicine can lead to their hospitalization. An invoice that could therefore cost him more. It comes with a lot of anxiety […] knowing also the socio-economic realities of the people there, if today I say no, tomorrow this same problem will increaseshe says.

Patrick Kaketa Mpiana, president of the Association des Congolese de l’Ontario, says he faces the same challenges. Me, personally, I declined certain requests from the families […] You feel helplesshe said.

You have the same salaries and the cost of living has increased […] There are some demands that we can no longer satisfy […] You are disappointed in yourself, but you cannot help it. »

A quote from Patrick Kaketa Mpiana, President Association of Congolese of Ontario

In addition, Mr. Mpiana explains that this situation is a Source of tension in families.

Same story on the side of the Coalition of of Ontario. The vice-president of the organization, Patrick Auguste predicts an increase in mental health problems and family tensions. In general, immigrants have a certain vulnerability to meet their basic needshe said.

Adding to that the factor of inflation, Mr. Auguste believes that this situation increases stress. Helping the family left behind in the country of origin is very important for new arrivals.

There are high expectations of them [les immigrants]. It is certainly becoming very difficult. »

A quote from Patrick Auguste, vice-president of the Coalition of Francophone Blacks of Ontario

Sandra Sassa also believes that inflation particularly affects these African colleagues. We’re facing the same storm, but racially we’re not all in the same boat.

Adapt to withstand inflation

Yahudha Man Kamaha is originally from Cameroon and has lived in Ontario for 5 years. He financially supports his wife and three children who remained in Africa. According to the African mentality, one does not abandon one’s loved ones. Even if it’s more difficult here, we try to fight to see how well we can adjusthe said.

As measures to adapt to inflation, Mr. Kamaha chooses to reduce certain personal expenses and increase employment. I don’t have a car right now so I don’t stress about insurance, gashe said. I don’t like depending on one Source of income.

I used to pay $400 for auto insurance, so […] this $400 will be used for the family who remained in the country. »

A quote from Yahudha Man Kamaha, Scarborough

Inflation requires, the Scarborough resident plans to reduce aid if necessary. The ease with which we helped loved ones may decreasehe says.

For her part, Sandra Sassa plans to use food banks to reduce her grocery bill in order to be able to support her loved ones in Africa.

The article is in French

Tags: Survive Impact Inflation Immigrants

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