An after-school program helped Nuhaa feel more comfortable in Canada.

A place to find comfort

When Nuhaa’s family first moved to Canada, it was a difficult adjustment. But a United Way program made it easier.

“I was born in Syria, but when I was four, my family had to leave because it was too dangerous there. So we went to Jordan. I liked it there because my grandparents and aunts and uncles would spend summers with us. When I was eight, we moved to Canada because my parents thought we could have a better life here.

Coming to Canada was not good and not bad. I was excited about meeting other people, but I missed my family and I was scared of going to school because I was shy. I was afraid nobody would want to play with me or be my friend because I didn’t speak English.

Our neighbour told my mom about a United Way after-school program where I could get help with homework and do activities. I was so excited to go there! I have fun, and all the new people I meet are really nice, like my friend Reema. I love her because she’s kind. My favourite part of this program is when we have circle time. That’s when we can play a game, draw or colour. We have a lot of fun together, and now I feel less shy. I’m happy that I get to go to this after-school program.

I feel more comfortable in Canada now. I can speak English, and I’m more confident. I even got to be part of a student art exhibition at the art gallery in my city.”


“We have a lot of fun together, and now I feel less shy. I’m happy that I get to go to this after-school program.”


There’s an issue
Many children and youth in our community face significant barriers to accessing post-secondary education and employment opportunities, particularly those who are immigrants, racialized, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ or from low-income families.

Children who live in poverty have lower literacy scores and less access to after school programs. They’re also less likely to graduate high school, resulting in real barriers to future employment and participating fully in their community.

You can help
Success early in life can have a direct impact on building a good life later. United Way invests in vital supports for kids and their families as well as youth engagement programs that set young people up for lifelong success and economic security.

Here’s how:

  • $52 or $1/week sends a youth to Homework Club where they get extra help from a qualified instructor in a safe and supportive environment
  • $1 invested in mentoring programs returns $18 to society. Kids matched with an adult mentor build self-esteem, confidence and social skills.
  • $1,200 provides 75 at-risk youth a hot, healthy breakfast for two months encouraging regular attendance at school and improving academic success.
Dakota HalfpennyNuhaa