Recipe for Success: Bintou and Aicha’s story

A story of hope, dreams, and resilience made possible through community support


Growing up in a refugee settlement in the Ivory Coast of Africa, sisters Bintou and Aicha Cherif learned to cook Jollof, a rice dish made with peppers, onions, and tomato paste, over an open fire.

Living close to the ocean and spending most of their days outdoors, they had access to fish, which they would add to the one-pot meal.

Bintou and Aicha are sharing their story with the crowd of people filling the St James United Church auditorium for a community dinner. Having completed the Food Handling Course, Bintou and Aicha have been busy volunteering in the kitchen prepping and cooking for the community meal.

A few weeks after the dinner, Bintou and Aicha look forward to the public reception and sharing their photographs at the Newcomer Youth Photography Project exhibit of the SPARK Photography Festival.



How is it possible for Bintou and Aicha to share her story with such confidence when just eighteen months ago she spoke very little English?


How is it possible to grow up without running water, electricity or any modern conveniences and learn what it takes to prep and cook a meal for more than 100 people?


You make it possible.


Donate Today through Canada Helps


This Spring Season, consider a donation to the New Canadians Centre to help us #bringpeopletogether.



Your gift to the New Canadians Centre helps to deliver life-enriching programs for newcomer youth like Bintou and Aicha while fostering the community connections that are so vital to developing a sense of belonging and contribution.

For just $10 a month, you can help newcomers like Bintou and Aicha develop language and build skills that will prepare them for employment.

Helping new Canadians allows our community to continually grow and prosper.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. 

Hajni Hos, Executive Director

New Canadians Centre Peterborough