Since 2010, a group of mothers — calling their organization Don Valley Women of Nations have set out to involve parents in the school, take community public health and environmental initiatives and improve access to community and public information resources.
They were asked to write imaginary letters home to a friend telling them what to expect if they���re thinking about emigrating to Canada. Here is what they said.
“Once you are settled, you will find another challenge. No, not about your culture or family values but something else. There is a tendency that people do not live within their means and lose track of their spending habit. To me this is more important to ponder at than being worried about other issues.”
"Do not worry about the weather, we have heaters everywhere. I personally do not complain as I knew about the weather before coming and you know that we have terrible summer in our part of the hemisphere so this ‘regulated’ (heater controlled) winter weather is better than our summer weather."
- On Health care
"You will get health card from the government so most of your medical expense is free apart from your eye, teeth. Dental cost is very expensive so complete all your dental work before moving here. You can have a family doctor who would deal with your regular sickness and they will refer you to specialized doctor when it’s required. If you have any other problem you have to go to hospital emergency. That is the worst place as you have to wait for long hours. In hospitals they don’t have enough doctors. Back home if you want to see any specialized doctor you can go easily but it is not like that over here. This was a bit surprising to me."
“In terms of your child schooling you have to be in touch with the teachers and discuss your child progress and get to know the Canadian education system by attending various school activities.”
“The teachers and principals are very wonderful they help everyone and every new comer. I would say the school system is hassle free than our back home education system. There is no study pressure on students in elementary school but in middle and high school a little pressure but not like our system.”
“When you land here you have enough to pay your bills for few months. You would not want to live on your savings. Initially, you probably will manage a survival job. Do not get frustrated with that as it will help you to keep the money that you have brought with you. Observe, seek information, navigate the systems and have patience.”
“You may get a job in your field if you are lucky! Otherwise wait, do some volunteering, enrol in a course to ‘upgrade’ yourself. I can tell you that the requirement of Canadian experience is a huge barrier. This, in my view, is systemic discrimination. .”
- On running a household
“Unlike back home, where you pay people to do your household chores, in Canada it doesn’t work that way. You have to do everything on your own from shopping to paying bills, laundry and a lot more.”
“You have to do all your work by yourself, starting from cooking, laundry, grocery, picking and dropping kids and other small work. These are not as hard you think. You will get used to it once you start doing.”