Finding a Family in British Columbia

Mother, father and son stand in front of bush

Imagine living in a country where you’re not free to speak your mind or express your values, without worrying about repercussion? There are many places in the world where this is the reality.

Recently, this family of three managed to find hope and a new beginning. But leaving behind the only country they ever knew was not easy. With no family or friends they faced hard times as immigrants in Europe, where they landed five years ago. It was also the place where they experienced the love and compassion of The Salvation Army for the first time.

They were looking for language classes in the country they landed in, which we happened to offer. This first encounter with the Army gave them hope… something they did not think they would find. The experience led to a volunteer role for Maria and then a job working with the teacher, who happened to be a caseworker with the Army.

“We thank The Salvation Army because they saved our life, they gave us hope, and they supported us in any way they could.”

“As a caseworker I helped to distribute items such as diapers and shampoo to people who needed them. The people who would come into The Salvation Army were mostly refugees from other countries and they would share their stories with us. Part of my job was to connect them to programs such as a breastfeeding program, milk formula program, English classes and sewing classes… I also was a leader for a sewing workshop. This was a big help for us as it allowed us to earn income,” Maria explains.

From there, the family found their way to Canada, where once again they were assisted by The Salvation Army. This time they found love and compassion in Kelowna, Westbank, “when we arrived in Canada The Salvation Army helped us in every way that they could, we received a warm welcome and care throughout the whole process. Now everything is amazing for us. We have a lot of hope and a lot of plans for our future.”

“We have a lot of plans for our future.”

Today the family is making the most of a life they never believed they could have, and they’re planning for a bright and meaningful future, “we were in a place where we worried about everything and living without any hope for our future. Now our dream is to help people who are in situations like ours, because we know what they are experiencing.” The family is planning on getting their citizenship and they plan to start their own business. When asked what they thought about the help they received, they said, “The Salvation Army is doing the right thing because they are saving people and their lives and saving one’s life is the biggest thing that someone can do.”