Family Day: Elisa’s Story

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Elisa’s journey is one of triumph in the face of obstacles. She arrived in Canada with her young son in 2019, fleeing an unsafe situation and the growing instability of her home country. Making the very difficult decision to leave the comfort and support of her family and friends, Elisa constantly reminded herself that she was making the right choice for the wellbeing of her child. She did not know the language and felt all alone, but her desire for connection propelled her to seek out a social network that would help her adjust to her new life in Canada. One day she came across an ad on a Facebook Latin American page about a program for parents with young children called Juega Conmigo (Play with Me) and decided to join.

The Immigrant Services Calgary program provided a safe and supportive environment where she met other moms. She learned about community resources that provide food security, financial literacy, and mental health services. The program also provided a space where her son could socialize with other children, sing songs in his mother tongue and learn through play. It also included a WhatsApp support group where participants could stay connected, plan playdates and learn about upcoming workshops and events that could help them find employment.

With the support of dedicated and caring Immigrant Services Calgary staff, Elisa gradually began to feel like she was part of a community again. She made new friends, attended community events and was even volunteering her time to help plan new programs to support other moms that were going through similar experiences. Our staff assisted her with enrolling in LINC classes near her home. Soon after, she found employment as a bus driver, a role that has positively impacted children with disabilities whom she has been safely transporting ever since.

Immigrant Services Calgary is honored to help thousands of immigrants and refugees like Elisa to unleash their economic, social and civic potential. By providing tailored first language supports that help our clients with all settlement related matters ranging from obtaining food to registering for school to accessing affordable mental health support, our programs make a significant difference in building the capacity of families and individuals.

Your contribution is the key to empowering our community. Immigrant Services Calgary appreciates your support as it helps transform lives. Donate today to make a positive difference:

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