Gloria and her passion for elderly care
Tell us about yourself
My name is Gloria from Tanzania. I have been living in Finland for more than 15 years. I am now working as a practical nurse, lähihoitaja in Finnish. I also graduated from Arcada Polytechnic University in 2015 as a geriatric nurse. I'm engaged to my wonderful fiancé from the Ivory Coast, Levi Nean. I have done drama performances with the Fela Kuti group and Paconet and sang in the choir from IEC International Church for more than six years. I was in Our Vision singing contest in 2011 with my fiance, who won that year.
How did you reach Finland?
I lived in the US before coming to Finland, and I also lived in Tanzania for a while.
My first time here was in 1989, and I was in 6th grade. I came for a drama performance, and I was in Kuusankoski for 11 days. Finland invited us to come here to perform. I was very young when I came to Finland. First I came here alone. Then I returned to Tanzania.
My friend came here in 2000, and she told me that there is free education in Finland, then I came here again, to study in 2004 as an adult. There was an entrance exam, and I passed it, and I came to Finland.
Tell us about your Finnish language skills.
I speak it well because I have learned it through work as a nurse. I think the job must be given to foreigners even if they don't speak Finnish well in the beginning, because through working they will improve their language skills and will learn it much better and faster.
What is the meaning of integration for you?
In the beginning, it was a bit hard for me because I came from the US, and there in America, people talk to each other a lot and to neighbors. Here people are more reserved and quiet; however, I understood and learned about the Finnish culture, and everything got better. I learned the rules and regulations and to respect and obey them.
Tell us about your job as a practical nurse?
I love helping people, and I have been successful. I like to work as a nurse with disabled people, which I'm doing now. I regretted why I didn't work with disabled people from the beginning. Not any particular challenge.
Tell us about your life in Finland and how do you find the culture?
I like Finland because it is a peaceful and safe place. It is an excellent place to raise children. There is too much crime in America, and there is no support and health insurance; here, the system is supportive, there is social security. The transportation system is also excellent here in Finland. The negative thing here is that many people live alone and are lonely, and there is much depression.
Any message for foreigners who want to build a life here?
You should learn about the culture when you come here, know the rules and regulations and respect them and therefore not break the law and not commit crimes. Don't give up in life no matter the difficulties and circumstances; always keep the positivity. If anybody else can do it, you can do it as well. Keep being positive.