Opportunities Taken

March 14, 2022

When Carla came to Canada in September of 2019, she was offered access to many resources that helped her settle and thrive in her new home. She recognized the opportunities she was given and utilized them to pave a path to success.

Carla’s first stop in her network of support was the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers (EMCN). EMCN is an initial settlement support system in Edmonton, and clients like Carla receive assistance in many areas such as affordable housing, English language skills, and community engagement. EMCN staff learned Carla was also experiencing food insecurity, so they referred her to Edmonton’s Food Bank.

While collecting her food hamper, Carla met Wisam who offered her additional assistance through the Food Bank’s Beyond Food program. Wisam helped Carla obtain several safety tickets including First Aid with CPR & AED, WHMIS, Domestic Violence Awareness, Gender Based Analysis Plus, and also enrolled her in the janitorial training program.

With her newly-acquired knowledge and safety tickets in hand, Carla began making connections in her community by volunteering. She offered her services to several organizations such as the Alberta Avenue Community League, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Bissell Centre. This afforded her the opportunity to interact with many people from different backgrounds and experiences.

Carla is also an active volunteer in her church community. She understands the struggles of those facing food insecurity and tries to ease their stress by serving them free, hot meals at her place of worship.

All this hard work and effort has culminated in the achievement of her ultimate goal: full-time employment. We celebrate Carla and her new role at an organization that offers fresh produce and baking at discounted prices.

Carla experienced first-hand the stress and fear of not being able to afford basic necessities and took every opportunity sent her way. We live in a community that offers multiple layers of support and Carla took the initiative to find out what options were available to her. Carla is now able to provide for herself while giving back to her community, and a real-life example of our mantra: Relieving hunger today. Preventing hunger tomorrow.