Testimonial from Asma, Centre participant

For newcomers, arriving in Quebec can be complicated, even overwhelming. The Centre offers personal and professional accompaniment services to immigrant women, and to all women in need of support during a troubled or difficult period. Here's a testimonial from Asma, who benefited from front-line and employability services when she settled in Quebec.

“ April 2022. I had just settled in Canada. I was seven months pregnant and I felt lost and disoriented. So I started looking for help, unsuccessfully, for weeks, until I found the contact information for the Women’s Centre of Montréal. I was 37 weeks pregnant and had no doctor, due to an administrative error, in a very stressful and fluid situation. And then one day – it was a Thursday – I got a phone call. At the time, I did not realize that it would change my life and help me pick myself back up. My counsellor reassured me and explained to me what the Centre has to offer. I will always remember my response: “Thanks for your call, but I am in the hospital.” A few days later, she called me back. I had a healthy baby in my arms. I was very touched by her wishes for our happiness and her comforting words. She explained to me that I could get food assistance and diapers. A few weeks later, I was at the Centre. Everyone was kind and smiling. What struck me was receiving this help without feeling judged or looked down on. Because I had nowhere to leave my son, I brought him with me to the Centre. A very kind educator suggested the Mother-Child program to me. It was an opportunity for me to make contact again with the outside world. Because since I had given birth, I no longer left home. As a new mother, I wanted to take advantage of the good weather and have fun with my son. Meeting other moms helped me understand my role as a mother. This program had a very positive impact on my psychological condition. It allowed me to build a healthy, balanced relationship with my son and to overcome the baby blues. I will never forget my son’s first Christmas and his eyes shining as he opened his gifts.

And that wasn’t all! I was at the Centre for a yoga session and I felt so good afterward in my head that I asked whether there were employment counsellors. And a new adventure began! I joined the Action-Réaction program. It helped me gain a clear vision of the Québec job market in terms of my field of study, chemical engineering. It taught me how to search for work, understand salary expectations and make a list of my strengths and areas that I need to work on. We did a simulated interview to break down psychological blockages and language barriers. I gained new communication skills. I also learned the importance of the hidden job market and the added value of LinkedIn. I understood that there is more than one way to approach an employer and that they can be contacted by email or telephone. This was revolutionary for me, because in my old life, that was absolutely not done. I am very grateful to this program and the counsellors, who helped me regain confidence in myself and my professional capacities. And here I am working in a corporation I used to dream of joining.

In short, the Women’s Centre of Montréal helped me through a difficult and critical period of my life. I received the support I needed throughout my integration process in Québec. I would never have found my psychological, professional and family balance without your help, ladies. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are the light that lit up my path. “

To discover other testimonials, we invite you to consult our 2022-2023 annual report.

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