My name is Zukhra Umurzakova. I came to Canada from Uzbekistan with my husband, Afghan national, and our three children in May 2006. We came as refugees. I was a school teacher back home. The beginning of our life in Canada was very difficult – we did not know English, did not have work, were homesick and our children were very young.
One day in early 2008 I had a phone call from the Settlement Worker at my daughter’s school after I registered her in Kindergarten. She helped to communicate with school. Then we met to discuss my other settlement issues. She listened carefully and helped us with housing, forms, and explained to me how schools work here.
In the beginning of 2009 I lost my job. I was shocked. I went to see the Settlement Worker. I told her what happened. I was so upset that I cried. She asked me if I applied for EI. I did not know what EI was. She explained to me and helped to apply.
She called me again in two months to ask if I found a job. I said no. Next day, she helped me to book an appointment with a community agency, where I entered an employment program. They helped me with my career goals and even with tuition fees if I go to college.
In January 2010, the Settlement Worker helped me to apply to Vancouver Career College for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Program. I successfully graduated in November 2010.
In August 2010 I found my dream job – I started working as ECE at Morley Daycare. I have been working there up to now.
I really appreciate all this help which the Settlement Worker provided. She changed my life and now I am so happy to have a job which I always love to do.