Irina Ayres

Ira A. – Volunteer, Immigrant Services

As every step in your life begins with a question, my story began with the question: “I am in Canada and what now?” I thought I was pretty much prepared for this endeavor and have thought of all aspects of the immigration process, but I was wrong. The second day after landing in Canada, I realized what I actually did. I left my home, my friends, my work place, my family and my known atmosphere behind me to be with my dream, my husband. I was so happy to be finally with the person I love, but at the same time I realized that everything around me is unknown and unpredictable. I had so many questions which I could not answer, like where will I work, what will I do during my long days alone, and are there people who are in the same situation? My biggest problem was, how could I improve my language if I do not have anyone to talk to? Just as every time in your life when faced with a difficult situation, doors will open, and this time it was the YMCA. By chance I was introduced to some remarkable people from the YMCA and I felt that they exactly knew how I felt and that they are the only ones who would be able to help me. Through the YMCA I was able to meet new people, to improve my language, to get rid of my insecurity and to experience belonging to a community. The experience with the YMCA has changed my life and that is something I want every newcomer to experience. Through volunteering for the YMCA I am now able to share what I have discovered.

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