“Having migrated at a much younger age, I grew up conscious of the many cultures around me. This played a powerful role in influencing my work and passions.
Adjusting to the frosty Canadian weather as a 4 year old was certainly a challenge, and I missed my country of the Czech Republic terribly. It took some time to overcome the language barrier, but my family and I felt embraced by our new home, and our new beginning.
It is not easy to go from speaking solely Czech, a very complex Slavic language, to English. The language-related learning struggles became some of the most entertaining and memorable moments of my childhood.
Because Canada is a wonderfully diverse place, we were encouraged to keep our national identity. This ‘mosaic’ in which we lived in allowed me to have friends from all over the world, giving me the chance to learn about different cultures, foods, and traditions.
We learned about and celebrated each other's differences, but all in all, we were equalised by one very special thing - we were all new Canadians. Being an immigrant myself, this vast cultural education was an opportunity to gain a fresh, global perspective.
My new environment, defined by the multitude of nationalities, inspired me to pursue a path focused on elevating the status quo for everyone and creating positive change. Throughout my life, I have sought to empower people to build a better world for themselves and their communities.
My fervent passion of fostering harmony led me to pursue work in law, politics, and advocacy. In 2014, my dreams became reality; I won ‘Your Big Year’, an international competition with over 80,000 applicants. I acted as World Merit Global Ambassador, giving me the great opportunity to visit over 30 countries and encourage young people to live true to their purpose.
I continue to strive for a more inclusive, collaborative, and peaceful world through all of my work."
Martina served as Global Ambassador for World Merit and also serves as a One Young World Coordinating Ambassador. This story was provided by i am a migrant's partner, One Young World.