Dr. Fraidoon Latifi’s Journey from Afghanistan to Canada

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Dr. Fraidoon Latifi, a former professor of Psychiatry at Balkh University in Afghanistan, faced a life-altering upheaval when the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in 2021. Forced to leave his homeland, Dr. Faridoon immigrated to North Macedonia, where he spent a year awaiting the documentation needed to move to Canada. While in North Macedonia, he selflessly served as a volunteer doctor with the Red Cross for Afghan immigrants, continuing his commitment to his community even in exile.

In 2022, Dr. Fraidoon immigrated to Canada and settled in Ottawa. As a new immigrant, he found the transition challenging, especially being away from home and without family in Canada. Determined to continue his medical career, he initiated a search for medical programs and resources. An Afghan resident in Ottawa referred him to the Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) for settlement and bridging programs.
Upon contacting the Alternative Careers in Health Promotion and Education Program (ACiHPE), within a week, LEF assisted Dr. Faridoon in having his credentials evaluated by the World Education Services (WES). With his credentials in hand, he applied for the bridging program, and after a successful interview, he obtained a spot in the ACiHPE program.
Dr. Fraidoon received assistance with information about living in Canada, including guidance on studying, obtaining a driver’s license, children’s subsidy programs, and other essential issues. The ACiHPE program began in September 2022 and proved invaluable to Dr. Faridoon. He gained critical insights into public health, health promotion, and the Canadian healthcare system, specifically the Ontario health system.

Throughout the program, Dr. Fraidoon interacted with peers and learned about various opportunities in the healthcare sector. After graduating from the bridging program, he remained closely connected with the program instructors and coordinator. He applied for a Personal Support Worker (PSW) position at a senior house in Ottawa. With the support of LEF in conducting mock interviews and preparing for the interview, Dr. Faridoon secured the position and started working as a PSW. His employer quickly recognized his talent, education, and understanding of the Canadian health system, promoting him to Nurse Assistant within a month.
Dr. Fraidoon’s dedication and expertise soon led him to secure a part-time position with another healthcare provider. Recently, he was promoted to Psychiatry Consultant at the senior house, a role in which he excels and enjoys immensely.
Grateful for the support received from LEF, Dr. Fraidoon acknowledges the knowledge and skills he gained during the bridging program as crucial to his success.”The ACiHPE program has profoundly enriched my professional journey, equipping me with invaluable skills and insights that are essential for thriving in a diverse and dynamic healthcare environment.” – Dr. Latifi

Today, Dr. Fraidoon gives back to the community by presenting workshops for newcomer Afghans at LEF. His collaborative spirit and willingness to assist whenever needed make him a valued member of the LEF community. Dr. Faridoon’s journey is a testament to resilience, determination, and the power of a supportive network in achieving professional and personal success in a new country.

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