Eight years ago a car accident left Sarahi without the ability to walk and to her becoming a single mother in Zapata Mexico. With perseverance and positivity, and her work in a local market, Sarahi chose to view each day spent with her daughter, Samanta, as a blessing and an opportunity to help provide her with a better future.

The Chief Operating Officer of First West Credit Union Shelley Besse described her experience of travelling with a group of Canadian women and youth to the Mexican community, most with little or no experience in construction skills, to help Sarahi and Samanta build a new home for themselves, through Hamilton, Ontario based Live Different.


Live Different is a youth movement challenging its volunteer participants to take actions of love, hope and change, large and small, through infrastructure projects that address critical needs identified within its host communities.

Employing and working alongside local labourers and tradespeople in the communities where their projects are based, in Dominican Republic, Mexico, Haiti, Thailand and Canada, Live Different has completed projects including 20 schools, 500 homes, playgrounds, water lines and cisterns, bridges, fences, and medical clinics.
Shelley Besse
Thanking Shelley Besse was President Walt Hayward, left, and Peter Podovinikoff, former CEO of Ladner Credit Union (now Envision Financial) and current member of Envision Financial Foundation board

First West Credit Union is the parent company of Envision Financial which began long ago as Ladner Credit Union.

photos by Live Different and Chris Offer