Grads Take Next Step in Their New Life in Manitoba

Categories: Prairie News

Esraa Al-Tahan addresses the crowd during the ceremony

Fifteen new immigrants have just taken an important step in their new lives as they graduated from an employment training program at The Salvation Army’s Multicultural Family Centre. One is Esraa Al-Tahan, a 28-year old Iraqi woman who arrived in Canada with her husband and daughter two years ago. The family fled war torn Iraq and were one of thousands of Iraqi refuges who sought safety in Jordan before receiving sponsorship by the Canadian government to come to Canada as refugees.Esraa, who has a computer science degree from Iraq, is following her life-long passion to become an interior designer. And she said that it’s all thanks to The Salvation Army’s Life and Employability Enhancement Program (LEEP), from which she graduated on March 19th. Michelle Strain, Program Supervisor of The Salvation Army’s Life and Employability Enhancement Program says, “Esraa is a strong, intelligent woman who has overcome many struggles and is now taking the first steps toward reaching her dreams.” Strain adds, “I believe that with such unwavering determination she will find many successes along her way.”Fourteen other young men and women in Esraa’s class, from war-torn countries like Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, Burma, Ethiopia, and Eritrea will graduate alongside her.

The LEEP program is the first of its kind in Canada and teaches participants a wide range of skills such as workplace English and computer as well as job interviewing skills to name a few. Participants must take part in five months of training followed by a two-week job placement, with the goal of each graduate being employed at the conclusion of the course.