Joy Marylin Balan traveled far before settling in Halifax and declaring it home. The teacher from India and her family moved to the United States in 2006 and lived in Dallas and Philadelphia. They then came to Fredericton and lived there a year. In 2011 they settled in Halifax and plan to stay.
Joy has started a daycare in her home called Sparkles Kids Care while her husband, a former IT worker, is the Pastor at the Asian Christian Church of Halifax, which is affiliated with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Their son Dahn is in high school and is also a talented musician.
Joy came to Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia to study English and take workshops such as Introduction to Nova Scotia. She was thrilled to be invited to attend the Immigrant Women’s Entrepreneurial Project, which provided participants hands-on experience in starting and running a business. She hadn’t thought of opening a daycare in her home until then. “I love children and I could be doing other things at home,” says Joy, adding that this allows her to help out with her mother-in-law who lives with them. She found the workshop helpful in getting information on registering, licensing and marketing her business and she also appreciated meeting the other participants. “It was nice; I enjoyed it. Everyone was struggling with their business plans.”
She currently has two children at her daycare – a two-year-old and a 14-month old baby. She is permitted to have two infants and two toddlers. If their church grows, she plans to establish the daycare with the church.
Joy’s background is in education. With a Master’s in physics she taught at many levels in India. She spent over two years teaching in a residential school for children whose parents moved away to other countries to work. She particularly enjoyed that position as she taught the same children year after year and watched them progress. After getting married, she tutored for seven years in math, physics and chemistry. She puts her teaching skills to good use at church where she teaches songs and bible verses. Every third Saturday they have a potluck and the children perform.
Joy and her family are delighted to be in Halifax where she feels welcome. “In the US they think people from India are taking their jobs. People are much nicer here.” She and her husband each have a brother in Moncton so they’re close enough to visit frequently.
Joy is a great fan of Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia. “I don’t know how to thank Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia. They are motivating and supporting me. They are doing a great job connecting people. I always introduce people to Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia.”