COR Stories: Michael Madugba’s journey to Canada and COR

Michael Madugba is from a family of five from the eastern part of Nigeria. Nigeria is an African country on the Gulf of Guinea well known for its many natural landmarks and wildlife reserves.

Michael shared that his parents prioritized education while they were growing up (because of their teaching and banking background). Following his first degree in Public Administration, he pursued a diploma course in Health and Social Care in the United Kingdom. During his practicum, Michael developed a keen interest in supporting vulnerable adults. He engaged in hands-on work with individuals with learning disabilities and dedicated his time as a volunteer mentor for those struggling with drug addiction. On his return to Nigeria, he worked with the government as a legislative aide before deciding to pursue a post-graduate degree with the University of Saskatchewan (UofS). His interest to come and pursue his education in Canada was greatly influenced by his friends and cousins who were already in Canada.

Michael shared that he arrived in Canada with a study permit, and upon completing his studies, he successfully applied for and received an open work permit. The application process for the study and work permit went smoothly. However, the application for the immigration of his family didn’t happen as smoothly as his. There was a significant delay in the visa processing for his family when they applied to join him in Canada.

Since moving to Canada, Michael shared that he has fostered meaningful relationships that have influenced his life. “I even have an adopted family in Saskatoon. My journey has been marked by memorable and positive encounters, contrary to the common fear of racism that newcomers face,” said Michael.

While attending the University of Saskatchewan, Michael developed a passion for working with vulnerable adults which prompted him to assume a part-time support worker position with Saskatchewan Alternative Initiative (SAI). Later that year, when he had to move from Saskatoon to Regina for a Co-op assignment with a government agency, SAI recommended him for a support role with COR, as both organizations share the same support philosophy of Gentle Teaching.

Following the conclusion of his co-op posting, Michael accepted a term position with the Government of Saskatchewan as a policy advisor. Despite his new responsibilities, he remains devoted to actively contributing to his team’s effort of fostering a wholesome, safe, and loving environment for the poeple he supports. “My interactions with the individuals, fellow team members, and the COR family have been incredibly positive,” mentioned Michael.

Asked about cultural shock in his country of adoption, Michael shared that a notable observation of him was the widespread popularity of camping in the country. It often surprises his Canadian friends that he has never gone camping before. “My adventurous and open-minded nature played a crucial role in my ability to adapt and integrate successfully. Additionally, my extensive international travel experience has fostered a genuine enthusiasm for meeting people, embracing diverse cultures, and understanding various perspectives” shared Michael.

Michael’s integration to life in Canada wasn’t challenging for him, as he had a comprehensive understanding of what to expect upon arrival. Prior to coming to Canada, his cousins and childhood friend shared their daily life experiences with him. Further, he completed an online course on Canadian people and culture, gaining valuable insights. “I was well-prepared for the weather, understanding that -35°C could be exceptionally cold, and I made sure to dress for the weather” shared Michael. However, the one unexpected piece of information he learned about Canada was the extent of the drug addiction challenges Canada faces, and this was a shock for him, considering Canada is a developed country with a high quality of life.

“After residing in Canada for three years, my expectations have been met and even exceeded. If given the opportunity to go back in time, would I choose Canada once more? Absolutely, YES!” said Michael. “My role as a Key Support Worker has evolved into an integral aspect of my daily life, as I consistently apply the principles of Gentle Teaching in my daily interactions and relationships. I would recommend COR to anyone, especially newcomers that are passionate about human services. Beyond the support you provide, the organization is dedicated to the well-being and personal development of its team members,” shared Michael.

Thank you, Michael, for choosing COR, we are grateful to have you as an integral part of our family and we are grateful for your contribution.


Written by Joana Valamootoo