Forty-five people became new Canadians in a special ceremony hosted by CBC Manitoba on Wednesday afternoon, including members of a young family from Uganda.

The citizenship ceremony took place at CBC's downtown Winnipeg studios at 5 p.m.

Among those who took the citizenship oath were Alfred Inyani and Jacqueline Adoch, who came to Winnipeg as refugees from Uganda five years ago.

"I'm really very, very happy because right now I'm here, my children are safe," Adoch told CBC News before the event.

"I feel very, very great. Right now, as today, I'm going to get my citizenship…. The status of being refugees has ended, and I have identity as a Canadian," said Inyani.

"I have rights and abilities as other Canadians. I have full protection wherever; I'll be defined as a Canadian, and even my children too."

Inyani was living in a refugee camp in South Sudan, to escape dangerous rebels, when he met Adoch and she moved into the camp with him.

'Things are not the same'

A missionary suggested the couple move to Canada, and seven years later they and their children moved to Winnipeg.

Inyani said he thought he would be taken to another camp once they landed.

Alfred Inyani and Jacqueline Adoch

Alfred Inyani, left, and Jacqueline Adoch came to Winnipeg as refugees from Uganda five years ago. (CBC)

"Yeah, that's what I thought!" he said. "But things are not the same. People are treated differently here."

Adoch said their arrival in a new country was magical, but that feeling faded a little when the family experienced Winnipeg's winter weather for the first time.

"The most thing which I started to really right away hating was the cold … and then snow," she said.

"The kids are all the time telling me, 'Mommy, we go back, we go home!' I said, 'Oh my gosh, where are we going? We are now here … we can't go anywhere.'"

Five years later, the family has adapted to life in Canada.

Their youngest child, Catherine Laker, was born four months ago, making her the first Canadian citizen in the family. She was joined by her siblings and parents, who all became citizens at Wednesday's ceremony.