When Nuhaa’s family first moved to Canada, it was a difficult adjustment. But a United Way program made it easier.

“I was born in Syria, but when I was four, my family had to leave because it was too dangerous there. So we went to Jordan. I liked it there because my grandparents and aunts and uncles would spend summers with us. When I was eight, we moved to Canada because my parents thought we could have a better life here.

Coming to Canada was not good and not bad. I was excited about meeting other people, but I missed my family and I was scared of going to school because I was shy. I was afraid nobody would want to play with me or be my friend because I didn’t speak English.

Our neighbour told my mom about a United Way after-school program where I could get help with homework and do activities. I was so excited to go there! I have fun, and all the new people I meet are really nice, like my friend Reema. I love her because she’s kind. My favourite part of this program is when we have circle time. That’s when we can play a game, draw or colour. We have a lot of fun together, and now I feel less shy. I’m happy that I get to go to this after-school program.

I feel more comfortable in Canada now. I can speak English, and I’m more confident. I even got to be part of a student art exhibition at the art gallery in my city.”—Nuhaa