Humans of Burnaby

Connecting the community through story-telling.

Inspired by Humans of New York, Humans of Burnaby is a collection of vignettes of the lives of people in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

By sharing the passions, joys, and challenges of different individuals, we hope to create a better understanding between citizens and form a stronger, and more compassionate community.

As advocates for those living in poverty and isolation, we especially strive to amplify the voices of those who often feel 'invisible'.

Follow us on Facebook (full story) and Instagram (snippets).

Everyone's story is important to us. Please contact Salena at 604-292-3903 / salena@bbyservices.ca if you would like to share yours.

 

 


    • LGBTQ children on the streets
    • "My family kicked me out onto the streets at 15 because I came out as lesbian at the time. I ended up homeless with my girlfriend at that time.

      I was on Granville street in downtown, the worst spot to be when you’re a kid. Luckily enough, we had some cops in the neighbourhood who took care of us. They’d come see us, bring us food, and make sure that nobody was harassing us because we were so young."

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    • You are not alone
    • "For several years, my husband lived in Ottawa, my son in Victoria, and I stayed in Mexico.

      Sometimes when I was alone, I cried. I wouldn’t sleep until 4am and I would wake up late. I didn’t know what to do by myself.

      When I went out, I had some thoughts that people would look at me and say “oh poor lady she is alone”. But the truth is nobody knew that I was alone. Our mind just creates all these scenarios..."

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    • Burnaby Youth Center
    • "I volunteer at the Burnaby Youth Hub. It’s a youth centre, alternative highschool and clinic. I was a student there myself for a year because I was struggling in the regular school system, dealing with bullies and my own mental health. While there I learned a lot about who I am and it was impactful for my growth. I found It’s a safe place for youth. If you are struggling in your life or in school and you don’t feel safe then you can go there to find help and resources."

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    • Building Community
    • "I’m Maori, a native of New Zealand and I was brought up in a very small village of about 200 people. The only other people around were nuns and priests. When the nuns called my house to tell my mom your daughter wants to become a nun. So my mom said “which daughter?”

      They said my name and my mom said “She’ll never become a nun she’s too much of a tomboy” and that’s what I was (laughs).

      ...I taught preschool for 20 years. Then I decided I wanted to leave the convent and I came to Canada in 1984 as a nanny. I’ve always wanted to be a nanny..."

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    • Value of Giving
    • “When I was young, I was bullied. That experience was very traumatic and stays with me today. But that’s part of what helps me be more empathetic towards others.

      The earliest memory that I have was in elementary school. I was out in the playground when all of a sudden, I found myself surrounded by a group of kids. I remember one girl in particular was making fun of me and started to physically gang up on me. That’s all that I remember about that day.

      Later on, I had a couple of other experiences of being bullied in elementary school. I was shy and insecure when I was young. Kids pick up on those vibes. Maybe something was going on at home for those girls; who knows – that could be why they bullied me. Everyone has a story, right? But it’s unfortunate that that’s how kids behave sometimes..."

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    • Acceptance (1 of 2)
    • Ever since the attack, people say “Hey you look familiar! You’re the girl who got attacked on the skytrain.” That’s all that people know me for now. Any time I do public speaking events, it’s great, I get to use the incident that happened to me to spread awareness on discrimination, racism, sexual assault, physical assault, and harassment on public transportation. But that’s all I’ve become, a story.

      I got attacked because I’m Muslim, because of my hijab, and I spoke up about it. A lot of people contact me to get involved in speaking events and it’s always about the same topic. I want to expand on that, yes I am the girl that was attacked on the skytrain that was my incident but let me talk to you about my real story, about who I am. I also want to talk about poetry, music, sisterhood power, feminism, and being accepting...

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