Thank goodness for developed nations like Canada that accept refugees into their social system because we would have all otherwise missed out on Karina Hayat’s impact on society. Karina was a former refugee who fled the civil war in Guatemala back in 1991 for Canada. All she had to her claim when she arrived was her work ethic that her parents instilled and she couldn’t speak a word of English.
Karina continued her education in Canada and launched her own award winning marketing business with husband Zeeshan, who also immigrated to Canada as a child. “We started our business back in 2001 when we were going to college. I remember I was working two part-time jobs and had a singing gig, my husband as well was working two part-time jobs and we were building this business.”
Together Zeeshan and Karina built award winning business Prizm Media, a high growth Vancouver based business with over 20 employees and 150 contractors worldwide.
Both Karina and Zeeshan Hayat have been named in Business in Vancouver’s top 40 under 40. According to Karina “I think Canada gives you so much opportunity and so much support.”
Canada took a chance on Karina.
She paid it forward by privately sponsoring a Syrian Refugee family.
So when asked why her family wanted to sponsor a refugee her response was straightforward .. “We only live one life and we have to give back while we’re still here… We don’t know how long we’re gonna give, so this is the time,” she said.
“We’re hoping this family will be able to integrate as quickly as possible into the country. [We hope] that we’ll be able to give them a hand and hopefully have them be an extended part of our family.”
Karina’s kids are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the refugee family and are looking forward to sharing their room with the family.
Philanthropy is a big word and the term “Billionaire” comes to mind.
Sometimes a heartwarming gesture such as opening up one’s home is all it takes to make a difference in the lives of others, especially a refugee family.