From financial instability to professional success
Manolo Mabini, trained as both a lawyer and accountant, once spent his days supervising 30 investigators in the Philippines, fighting to uncover corruption in the highest echelons of the government.
Up against powerful politicians, it was difficult and risky work, and Manolo and his wife Jocelyn were often concerned about their family’s safety.
They decided to bring their family to Canada.
“We chose Winnipeg,” he laughs, “because I thought that the weather would be good.”
On a serious note, Manolo adds that it was very difficult to leave their home, friends and family – a place where they both enjoyed professional success.
And with no relatives or friends to provide support, the first six months in Winnipeg were tough.
Dennis Mamattah, who coordinates the Recognition Counts program, met with the couple and was struck by their dire situation.
“Manolo and Jocelyn had basically run out of funds to live. They needed help quickly.”
A settlement counsellor had previously advised the couple that an accounting designation would allow them to work full-time.
For me, the program provided not only financial stability, but also psychological stability.
They decided to enter the CGA program, but tuition and books were expensive, and they found it difficult to continue.
Both were able to apply for Recognition Counts loans and use funds to pay for tuition and books associated with their CGA courses.
“As soon as we were in the CGA program,” Manolo says, “we started to get calls.”
The couple also attended money management training, customized to meet the needs of new immigrants. In the classes, Manolo and Jocelyn were able to share their vast financial experience and knowledge with the group.
Today, they are employed full-time in the accounting field, Manolo as an investigator for the Manitoba Securities Commission, and Jocelyn as an accountant for a manufacturing firm.
Recognition Counts provides stability for skilled immigrants.
“For me,” Manolo explains, “the program provided not only financial stability, but also psychological stability. The proceeds of the loan go a long way toward pursuing your desire to have your profession recognized here in Manitoba.”