Because of the war in Ukraine, I came here with my four-year-old son and mom this year. The trip was highly strenuous, with multiple stops and through various modes of transport. My mom also suffered a cardiac arrest on the flight to Toronto and needed immediate medical assistance, making the journey all the more demanding. I was overwhelmed even before we landed. But I knew I would have to initiate the settlement process immediately after arrival because I’m in charge of my family. I met the CCSYR staff at the hotel we were staying in right after arrival. Their warmth and friendly nature touched me. Such gestures mean a lot when you are alone and have no one to fall back on. Valentyna Burbelo ran orientations about the Canadian ways of life and the CCSYR services available. But most importantly, she stepped beyond the scope of her work to bring us food from the food bank.
On the other hand, the staff mentioned vacancies in the agency when they learned about my experience as a prosecutor in Ukraine for over 12 years. I applied soon after and got the job of Community Navigator in the Digital Team. Finding a job is often a battle for newcomers, and I feel so lucky that I got one so conveniently, thanks to CCSYR.