Ana Laura is a current client with Skills for Change and is enrolled in the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program levels 6 and 7. She was born in Brazil, close to the capital city of Brasilia, and arrived in Canada in 2010. Before arriving in Toronto, she studied law and worked at a major labour union.
Upon arrival, she only knew one person in Canada but since then, she has made countless friends, and met her husband and created a family of her own. She now has two children, a son and a daughter.
Ana Laura misses the weather in Brazil, but what she misses most is the culture of closeness. Thankfully, her mother is able to visit her regularly and gets to spend as much time with her children as possible.
Even though Ana Laura is very outgoing and has made friends quickly within the Portuguese community here, having to develop a brand new support system has not been easy.
“It can be hard to make friends here. Luckily, I made friends when I got pregnant. I met many people at the prenatal centre. I took courses to learn everything I could about being a mother.”
Ana Laura takes being a mother very seriously and always puts her children first. That’s how she found herself getting connected with Skills for Change.
“If an agency doesn’t offer child minding services, I can not participate. That’s the reason I came to Skills for Change. They have an amazing child minding service here and my daughter loves it! When she’s at school, she refers to Skills for Change as “her school” and brags about it to her friends.”
Ana Laura is also involved in the larger Skills for Change community as a whole.
“I found Skills for Change to be an amazing place full of people who are here to help. I’m not just here taking English classes!” she says, “I’m participating in other programs and services too. I’m participating in the Women Connecting with Women workshops. They’re amazing. Every week, we have a different topic and they’re really helpful. Every week, there’s a new speaker! I highly recommend this series of talks.”
Aside from her studies and her family life, Ana Laura also finds ways to find time for herself. She loves to read and is currently finishing a series of novellas by Leo Tolstoy, which she’s fallen in love with.
Ana‘s story is just one of many, who need support once landing in Canada. Skills for Change offers a holistic approach, including access to settlement services, language training, bridge training and employment supports, and provides on-site child-minding for our clients. #GiveforChange and donate today and help to build programs for immigrants and refugees to contribute to the Canadian economy and society.