By Heather White Brittain
As an immigrant, moving to Canada is a major life event. Finding a support system, establishing meaningful relationships, steering a new path is not without challenge. Immersing in a new culture can be a journey of self-discovery and like many bonds that tie a community together, an opportunity for inspiration and shared values that inspire change. Christine Eurokwu is one of these immigrants who relocated to Saint John from Nigeria and is the founder and inspiration voice behind Kaima Designs.
Like many immigrants, Christine brought her hopes and dreams and a tremendous skillset shaped by her culture and family values. As a child growing up in Africa, Christine was inspired by her mother’s curtailed education, cut short when she was married off to an older man. That’s not unusual for young girls in Africa and this earlier influence moved Christine to social change. It’s one that took on a life of its own when Christine created Kaima Designs and for her, it became a personal and intentional mission to be a champion of change.
Kaima Designs brings to life African-inspired clothing and creative design. The brand amplifies colour and unique style and symbolizes the values of people wearing them. It is an image of tenacity, resilience, strength and shared values and is deeply personal for Christine. With proceeds from sales, the company provides an opportunity to donate to underserved children in West Africa, empower young girls through education and break free of a poverty cycle and a potential life of labour and forced early marriages.
This meaningful cause has a two-prong approach to corporate social responsibility and engaging and inspiring others. Living in Saint John, Christine realized early on that she wanted to support Canadian charities with similar objectives.
This powerful vision caught the attention of many and on January 20th, 2023 Christine was recognized for her inspirational work when she received the Most Inspiring Immigrants in Atlantic Canada Award. The honour recognizes immigrants from across the region who contribute to making the East Coast of Canada the number one place to be. Earlier on that day, Christine also received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, New Brunswick.
Thank you Christine for choosing Saint John and Atlantic Canada, and for sharing your hopes, dreams, passion and talent. Your vision is all inspiring and makes the world a better place to be.
About the writer:
Heather White Brittain’s career spans manufacturing, sales, marketing, arts management, relocation and freelance writing. A proud Atlantic Canadian and born in Newfoundland, she has worked and lived extensively throughout Atlantic Canada. In 2013, she joined the Imperial Theatre in Saint John, New Brunswick. As Development Director, Heather secures funding for capital projects, outreach programming and annual giving all the while building meaningful relationships with donors, diverse stakeholders and immigrants. Passionate about population growth, diversity and inclusion, Heather’s personal and professional mission statement is to connect individuals from all walks of life so that it leads to happy and helpful relationship building.
Heather's community work was recognized by the National Connector Program as a Community Connector. "Being a connector is walking the talk and not just talking about it." Socially, economically, culturally, we will all benefit from growing our population through meaningful connector activities."-Heather White Brittain