Iryna Haran

The war in Ukraine put me in a tough spot. I had to choose between my husband, Michel or staying back in the country. And, obviously, I decided to leave Ukraine for a life with Michel! I have been a linguist training Ukrainian soldiers since 2017. But when the war destroyed everything, including the building where I worked, I fled with my young son and husband to Canada. After landing last summer, I felt like a fish out of the water. That’s when we reached out to CCSYR. This organization taught me a life lesson: others can only show you where to go, but you will have to knock on each door and build your life step by step. And I followed every piece of advice that the staff gave. Both my husband and I got our first jobs a month after our arrival.

I took my maternity leave when my daughter was born early this year. As much as I enjoy this phase now, I’m counting the days to resume work. I want to use my linguistic skills and social work experience from the past to help Ukrainian newcomers. That would be my way to pay CCSYR’s kindness forward.