Believing in yourself is the first sign of SUCCESS
My name is Mina, and I am originally from Iran (not Iraq! Iran). It has been almost two years since I immigrated to Canada as a skilled worker, or more specifically as a midwife. My story with THRIVE started when as a new comer, looking for a place to use my skills as a midwife, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity to start with. After looking up for places that were looking for volunteers, I found “PREGNANCY and Family Support Services” P.F.S.S. ! I found it! Way to go! At the time, I had no idea what PFSS was all about! All what I had assumed about PFSS was a place for women to give birth! A place for women to have their prenatal appointments, and in general a place for pregnant women to hang out and to meet other expecting moms. I was so excited that eventually I found a place that I could start volunteering as a midwife! After being asked to fill out the volunteer application form and having an interview with Dakotah, I got accepted to start my volunteer shifts at THRIVE. Ahaaaa! It was on my first shift when I realized THRIVE was not a place for women to give birth, but it was a safe place for all families and individuals including expecting moms to hang out, to get support, to be heard, and to be understood.
THRIVE was my first workplace experience in Canada, and I am so blessed that I got introduced to such a kind, supportive, and understanding team. It was through THRIVE that my skills and knowledges got acknowledged, and it was through THRIVE that I thrived! It was through lovely Dakotah and in her maternity absence, through dedicated, and supportive Rhonda (my first two bosses in Canada!) that I gained more and more confidence to keep going. The workplace environment and the relationship between employer and employee is at some point different back home than what I experienced at THRIVE. Back home, by default, employees are not trusted unless otherwise. It might be the same in Canadian culture that I am not aware of, but I didn’t see that unhealthy workplace environment at THRIVE. In fact, all what I saw from THRIVE team was all about support, support, and support.
Following my Volunteer experience which was during the winter 2015, I started to do my practicum for two months at Thrive, and it was on September 2016 that I got hired as a community support worker at THRIVE. I couldn’t practice as a midwife in Manitoba because the government stopped funding the midwifery gap training program which I was accepted to. I am not regretful of what has happened to my initial goal which was being able to practice as a midwife here in Canada, but I am grateful that I found a new path through working with THRIVE.
The core ideology of family studies had already started to develop in my life when as a midwifery student I was first being exposed to families and more precisely women who were initially seeking for health care, but eventually ended up being in crisis and seeking for not only health care support, but also in demand of mental health support. Being inspired by the marvelous, fascinating therapy services offered by THRIVE, I made up my mind, I chose my path, and I applied for Masters degree of Family and Marriage therapy at U of W. I look forward to hearing back from the university to see if I’ve got accepted to the program.
Working in a new different culture, especially when you must communicate with others in a second language has its own challenges. There might be sometimes when you are stressed, emotional or under pressure for some reason and you just can’t find a suitable word to communicate effectively and clearly with your colleagues. There might be sometimes when by choosing a word which has a negative connotation that you are not aware of, you might get misunderstood or even worse, you might hurt others without even knowing that! And, how patiently the THRIVE team listened to me and tried to understand me in such situations.
“Family isn’t only about blood, but it is also about who is there to hold your hand and support you when you need them “. It was through THRIVE that I, as a new comer with no close family member around, got enough support and warmth to keep going and to digest the bitterness of a separation in my life. Thank you THRIVE team for being there to many many people who doesn’t have any blood family close to them.
Congratulations to Sunita who has completed her ECEII through the MELCC CBL course. You’ve made it !!! You’re so amazing Sunita! 💕thank you for your commitment to Early Childhood Education, and to the families and children of our community.
My name is Susan Hrabliuk and I volunteered at the Family Resource Centre over the past winter. I have done volunteer work in the past at an elementary school in the community. I wanted to try something different and noticed an ad for volunteering with the Family Resource Center.
I was interested in getting to know and relate to people in different areas of the city. I have enjoyed getting to know people whom I originally thought were so different from me. I have come to realize that the Moms/Dads that come here are not that different than I am. We are all looking for a place to belong. A place that one can come and talk and not be judged. A safe place to participate in different programs to become a better parent. I’ve learned that I am really not that different from a lot of our clients. We all want to become better parents, better people. We all have struggles in life that sometimes become hard to handle alone. I can see why the Resource Center is a safe place for people in the community to come and enjoy.
I particularly like just sitting and having a coffee with some of the Moms that come in. It’s nice to sit and chat about how the day is going, the different struggles they are encountering or how their kids are doing. I have a lot of admiration for the women that come here. I have grown so much as a person. The staff here are very caring and supportive. I’m looking forward to coming back in the fall time to help out again.
Hellur Hellur Everyone!
In 2011, I began going the PFSS for Parenting Classes and then realized that they offered a list of recourses that could help me grow and begin to achieved balance and structure for my children and myself. Volunteering was a great way to get involved with the community and form relationships. By the time I had Joseph, Kiira-lee and Nevaeh were already enrolled at FCC. While my children were being care for this enable me to go back to school and start my journey to complete my Grade 12. This empowered me to focus and grow and to give my children a better life as well as myself and the people around me.
In 2013, I began a regular volunteer, not just for PFSS, but also for Spence Thrift Shop. I gained the knowledge and experience there needed to find my voice. This allowed me to speak my mind freely, in which, I found that my opinion matter, not just to me, but too everyone else. As I continued to grow not just as a person but also as a member of PFSS agency my children were growing as well at FCC. Even though my daughter left FCC to continue her education in Kindergarten I still stayed strong with PFSS.
In 2014, I enrolled in the Honor and Gifts Program that help me become a practicum student for PFSS. That help me obtain work experience and knowledge of know how in communications. Shortly after my practicum placement, I was then asked to become a Board Member for PFSS. I was stocked and pleasantly surprised but whole-hearty accepted!
In 2016, I’m currently still a board member of PFSS, we look forward to creating a better today for tomorrow with each and everyone.
Hi, my name is Violetta Totozian.
When I first came to Winnipeg I was pregnant. Pregnancy and Family Support Services was one of my first places to go for social places. I am trying to recall I believe it was my doctor or Manitoba Start told me about this place. As I said, I was pregnant and knew nothing about breast feeding or labour.
One of my first classes with the centre was Prenatal. I could not attend the last 3 classes but still am very glad I took the ones that I did. Shortly afterwards I was introduced to the basic needs supplies program. As a newcomer, I was very appreciative of what we received since I am not working and my husband has low income. The food that we receive helps out a lot. I haven’t bought myself such things as we received like the nice baby cereals and snacks as they are so expensive. The support really helps. The good thing that I see and feel is that is it not embarrassing to come here, not like back home. I feel so comfortable here.
After Victoria was born, we started participating in the parenting classes. We both started with Nobody’s Perfect then afterwards Positive Discipline. Both classes were wonderful. Victoria and I always looked forward to coming every Monday. I learned a lot! Because I didn’t have any experience of being a mother and being alone in Canada with my husband. I still have the brochures, the books and the pamphlets. I will never throw them away. I am sharing all the information I learned through the programs with my new friends who don’t know. I am also sharing all the information as well with my husband and family back home in Greece all the time.
I enjoy your company and support. Being alone is so difficult when you only know a few people. One smile can really change your life. I look forward to the next upcoming classes. I really want to mention the Christmas Party. It was such a wonderful experience! Nice food and nice people. We received a box full of gifts. My husband was surprised because he didn’t expect anything in there was for him. Victoria also received her first toys from the Christmas Party. We also took picture with Santa Claus. Those were Victoria’s first pictures!
There are changes for me after coming to PFSS. The changes are positive. I am now going to new places. My family and I are newcomers and I am a new mom. All the knowledge I received here is again very valuable. I cannot express that enough. I would like to thank you Dakotah and the whole team at PFSS from the bottom of my heart. I know that every month I always look forward to coming. I am always happy when I leave the centre and return home. I am very happy to be given this opportunity to share my experience. I am sad that I am not here, but my heart will always be with PFSS. Again I want to thank you very, very much! The tools I receive of friendly support are very valuable to me from the experience I have from PFSS. Places like this are so important in our society. Thank you again!
First, I’d like to start off by saying that me and my family have been coming to the Family Community Center since 2006. Ever since 2006, I’ve had so many opportunities to do many different things, not only for me but for my children as well.
When I first came here, I didn’t know much English and I had four kids. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. Every day was the same thing over and over. But when I started coming to the Family Community Center I had many options on things I could do. I started going on outings such as the beach and farms and I discovered that not only was I having fun, but my children were too! I also found many volunteering opportunities that were very memorable for me. I found myself helping at MCC, Winnipeg Harvest, gardening and many more. Also, there were many programs for me and my kids. They helped me with counseling; they showed me a lot of other resources.
Near the end of the 40 hour course to become a CCA, I realized that I wanted to work here. I was in need of a job and I was very worried because this was my first job in Canada. I spoke to Rhonda and I went through the job process and I was gladly hired for the job! I’m very thankful for everything this center has done for me and my family and all the support. I’m very thankful for the hardworking members of the community and the ones who inspired me to take my chance with this job. I’m hoping that other newcomers who are in need, come to this center because it will help them with language, sociability, counseling and much more.
I’d like to say thanks to Rhonda especially because she worked very hard for many newcomers. She really helped to guide and help their families where it was needed, such as with the law. I’ve seen the impact she has done not only in this center but in this community. I would also like to thank all the supporters and workers for their hard work and determination.
My name is Barby Hall. I’m a recent graduate of the Winnipeg Community Art Program called Artbeat, a 6-month program for emerging Artists who carry a mental illness, wherein 9 people [every 6 months] are given a shared studio space in the Exchange District to work on their Art, and exhibited at the end of 6 months. I have a significant depression, plus I am in a wheelchair most of the time due to a vehicle collision 5 years ago.
Artbeat was a challenging, yet positive opportunity & experience for me as it allowed me to concentrate on making Art [painting & drawing] for between 20 & 40 hours per week in a comfortable supportive setting where my Art was kept clean & safe, and where there were other emerging Artists with whom to socialize & enjoy their Art & process. I met my goal over the time period of producing 3 good-sized canvases illustrating a societal issue that I feel very strongly about: namely, the dangers of GMO [Genetically Modified] Food/Organisms.
I have in my adult life been an activist in the areas of Aboriginal Rights, the Environment & Human Rights. Artbeat gave me the opportunity to work on a terribly important Human Rights & Environmental issue into my Artwork.
Barby is another success story of PFSS. We are extremely proud of Barby!!!
Amy Linklater with the Pregnancy and Family Support Services
In the summer of 2012 I returned to Winnipeg from the reserve. I was 4 months pregnant and not employed. I began to job search. Well, I didn’t have luck finding a job. As soon as I told them I was pregnant I was not considered for the position I applied for. I didn’t experience discrimination like this before, it felt awful. So I ended up on assistance. Not a good feeling either. At the office on Rory St, I was made to feel even more ashamed for accessing help. The first EIA worker I dealt with made me feel so low about myself that I wondered how people can go through this, on a daily basis. I was given a hard time by this worker and was shamed for coming for help. That didn’t stop me though, because I needed help. What an awful experience to go through. After that, I met up with an old friend who told me about PFSS and that’s where my peace of mind began. I was introduced to an organization that would help me get back on my feet and made me feel good about myself again.
I began by coming to the center when it was in the Manitoba housing building. I attended prenatal sessions there. I also utilized the free counseling services. Counseling helped me get a hold of my thoughts and feelings and helped me to put things into perspective. I had a lot of personal issues with her dad, I felt empowered by talking to another woman who helped me see the light again. I was alone and broken down when I first came to PFSS, then I met the staff and felt the love. This organization helped me with baby supplies and emergency food when I needed it. Once a month I took comfort in knowing that I could get help from them. I took comfort in knowing that there was no judgment and no shaming.
I participated in the activities at the Resource Center and enjoyed meeting other people who understood what I was going through and how the system works. I have always worked and being on assistance and living low income was an eye opener for me. I got a lot of support dealing with this new way of life. I ended up at Sunrise Village because I was homeless and had a very hard time looking for a place to rent. The amount available for housing through assistance is very low. I was completely shocked at the struggle I went thorough to obtain a place of residence. What an eye opener for what people go through on assistance trying to obtain a home. When I finally found a place I went through a lot just to obtain it. The EIA worker I was dealing with gave me a hard time. I am fortunate that I am able to speak up for myself and know who to contact when a worker is giving you a hard time. The resource centre helped me with finding a place. Which happen to be in the area. Every day I came from skid row, where Sunrise Village is located unfortunately, to the centre where I utilized the computer for apartment searching and the phone for contacting the people I needed to. I was very grateful for the computer and phone at the centre.
So, as time goes by my daughter develops allergies and I began to stress as a parent. I found support at the centre just by talking to other woman and participating in programs during the day when I was able to get away. I utilized the computer to educate myself on allergies. As my daughter was getting older, I put her on the waitlist for the childcare. When she was two she became a FCC child. It was very hard at first to adjust, for her and myself. The childcare staff was very understanding. I felt like the worst parent in the world as my child was crying and I’m on the verge of tears, for leaving her. The staff helped us with this transition and was very understanding and reassured me, it’s ok. She will be ok. Well my girl was ok. The staff understood my burden with her allergies and asthma and the staff continue to be open to the information sharing I provide for education on allergies and asthma. My daughter has flourished since being in the FCC childcare. I am very grateful for her opportunity to be a part of a group that helps her develop into the ruler of the universe. She is two and a half and quite the independent little person. FCC has gone through some major changes since I have been a part of the childcare. I commend the strives and hope to see more as time goes by. I look forward to working with FCC to continue with their growth.
While she was in childcare I took the parenting classes offered by PFSS. Nobody’s Perfect and Positive Discipline. The classes were great and just what I needed to be reminded of the skills I have as a parent already. The classes are a great chance for parents to build on the skills that we all have and can utilize. What a way to feel good about being a parent. I learned many new skills and built upon the skills I was already using. There is a 10 year difference between my children, so a refresher course was perfect. I’m not a perfect parent and that’s ok.
One fine day in May of this year, I signed up to volunteer for the summer, as I waited for school to start. I was pleasantly surprised when I was offered a casual position with the agency and began work at the Family Resource Centre. My self confidence went through the roof and I began to feel empowered again in a different way. I just couldn’t believe it. This organization has seen me at my lowest and brought me back up to my highest that I have been in awhile. They believed in me enough to hire me and work with community members. Working resource has been a great experience. The Family Resource Centre provides a vital service to community members and beyond, the doors are not subject to catchment areas. I am so grateful for this organization helping me become whole again. PFSS is a very important organization to this area and to the people it helps. This world is tough and has many obstacles. If we can make it a little bit easier for someone to have a better day, why not help others?
I believe in the power of love, this organization has lots of love to give to people. I am so blessed to have them in our lives. PFSS Inc. is very important to the people in the community. This organization is a staple in this community. I have nothing but love for them.