Tatiana Kovalova

I arrived from Ukraine with my husband and daughter in April this year. We came with lots of hope, looking for a safe place to call home. I knew it would be a long shot! And it was overwhelming at the beginning. The CCSYR staff taught us how to navigate daily life. From opening a bank account and applying for a PRESTO card (the contactless smartcard to access the public transit system) to searching for jobs and understanding the medical system, they offered hand-holding support at each step. We knew no one when we came to this country. However, with regular guidance from Valentyna Burbelo (CCSYR’s Community Engagement staff), we learned how to network with others.

I’m a full-time stay-at-home parent, and my husband works in construction.

We don’t feel as lost as we used to be these days. Whenever I can, I attend events and workshops the agency organizes. I’m also waiting for our grandma to join us soon so I can start attending English language classes and actively look for a job.