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A little goes a long way: How Vancity’s microloans change lives

About this story

  • Organization
    Dharmasena Yakandawela
  • Region
    Vancouver, BC
  • Area of impact
    New immigrants
  • Type of investment
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    long version of this story

Dharmasena Yakandawela was a successful lawyer and judge in Sri Lanka, but when he and his family fled to Canada in 2006, he was told he was not qualified to practice law. He started working the graveyard shift at a convenience store to make ends meet and quickly realized he needed a plan.

Vancity provided Dharmasena with two Back to Work microloans to complete a certificate program for immigration consultancy at the University of British Columbia. In 2008, Dharmasensa formed YLD Canada Immigration and Recruitment Services Ltd. and has dedicated his business to helping new immigrants find work and transition their careers.

Dharmasena is studying to become a certified lawyer in British Columbia and he reflects, “I have gone a long way now with the support extended to me by Vancity.”