A nurse by profession, I was excited to get my licensure and start working as a nurse as soon as able when I first migrated to Canada in September of 2011 only to find out that there was a long process involved in this journey. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way and I am still a long way to go in pursuing my dreams.
I attended workshops on job searching since I knew it would take a while before I start my nursing career which, later on I found out, entailed one year of schooling in the Nurses’ Re-Entry Program. I started to actively look for a job in January of 2012, sending out at least 3-5 resumes a day to various companies I saw on the web which I felt I was qualified to apply for. January to March, all I did was search for jobs and apply but to no avail.
I stumbled into Multicultural Helping House Society in March by accident because I needed assistance in tax filing. I went to the Multicultural Helping House Society and I was told that I could apply as a volunteer. Since there wasn’t much to do, I applied and got accepted. I volunteered as a receptionist and met a lot of people, helped and assisted visitors in the office, answered phone calls from all sorts of people needing information. By the time I was called for a job interview, I had written down MHHS as my current employer and luckily, got accepted as an office assistant in ICBC Claim Centre here in Kingsway, Vancouver.
I never really understood the concept of volunteerism until I lived here in Canada. It is a practice that has never been popular in the Philippines. Canadians always talk about volunteering for all sorts of things and I volunteered just to be able to do something while I was idle. Later on, I began to realize how many people MHHS has helped by doing what they do and I was, in fact, a part of it. It was an amazing experience to be able to give selflessly, helping other people and serving others. This is how I was able to contribute to the society and make use of my time productively. On the other hand, volunteering gave me a chance to get the Canadian experience employers always look for. I was able to be of help but I definitely was given a great referral by MHHS, which I will always be grateful for.
Working at the Multicultural Helping House has been an amazing and inspirational experience. I have felt nothing short of welcomed from both the workers and the other volunteers. Being a part of such a passion-driven organization whose goal is solely to help others in need has motivated me further into pursuing my goals in becoming a social worker so that I too may help others as the Multicultural Helping House continues to do. I have learned a lot from the many selfless workers who devote their time and more to the needs of others with no complaints and constant smiles on their faces. I thank Tatay Tom, Tita Tess and the rest of the Multicultural Helping House team for welcoming me so warmly into their family. It will be an experience I will never forget and will be forever thankful for.
It has been a great honour to volunteer at MHHS. I have suffered from mental depression since I was 7 or 8 year old child. But coming to MHHS has given me a lot of hope and strength. Before, I had no confidence in myself, but now I have strength and happiness as I volunteered at MHHS. The staff has been a tremendous help for me. I came to Canada in 1975 as an immigrant. It was hard for me to adapt to the ways of life here. If I did it, so can you! I wish all the newly arrived immigrants success and happiness as well.
Medielyn Da Jose
The service provided for my family by Multicultural Helping House Society has been a great help for us. The information given to me in regard to immigration procedures, the emotional, social and financial support have helped us a lot. The staff has always been professional and accessible. You can have full confidence, assuming that you provide all the documents that are requested of you, that your expectations will be met. In summation, we wholeheartedly recommend the non-profit organization Multicultural Helping House Society for all the help the family received.
This is the account of how the Society helped us:
My husband (Richard Garcia), our 19-month old child and I arrived at Vancouver Airport on 1st February 2011 as a newly-landed immigrant. Unfortunately, while we had been eagerly waiting in the immigration queue, my husband suddenly collapsed and hit his head on the floor severely. He was unconscious. Airport paramedics arrived immediately, and gave him primary treatment. He was soon transported to the Vancouver General Hospital for further medical investigation.
At the hospital, some Filipino staff approached me and offered help as they knew we were strangers in this place. And within few hours, the Vice President of the Multicultural Helping Society Mr. Amado and his wife arrived and comforted me. On the next day, my husband had brain surgery, and been kept in the ICU for almost 2 weeks. During these days, the Multicultural Helping Society helped me to complete processing all the official documents for immigration and others. They had accompanied me to the airport to get our passports. The immigration authority issued one year temporary resident permit instead of permanent resident, because we were not able to complete all the necessary assessments in the immigration desk. However, I was very grateful, as the airport staffs were very supportive and helpful to our family. Tatay Tom, the President & CEO, and Tania Dina, the Settlement Counsellor of the Multicultural Helping Society were there for the family, and comforted me. I was able to get a working permit for one year as well as applied for SIN and MSP.
My husband was out of the ICU and had been transferred to Neurosciences ICU. He later regained consciousness, and could recognized people. But still he had an endotracheal tube on his neck. The physiotherapist helped him walk on his feet with assistance. On the first week of February, I went to the hospital accounts section and had been shocked to see the bill, which contained a prodigious 6-digit figure. And there is no way that we could afford to pay off that bill. For first 4 months we had no source of income other than the donation from the community people. So we had to spend almost all the money that we brought from our home country.
My husband was discharged from the Vancouver General Hospital and was transferred to GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, where he stayed for one month. Our medical bill was growing higher and higher. At that point the GF Strong advised us to go home in order to keep the bill at that point.
Right now, I’m glad that my husband is recovering quickly. Multicultural Helping House Society staff provided me job search training, and eventually I got a job. They also helped me rent in a house where we already have shifted. We are now much better than the moment my husband fell flat, but we need to go way ahead to live up the expectations and dreams that we carried here.
After all these challenges since we arrived in Vancouver 1st February 2011, we finally received approval from CIC as permanent residents.
God bless MHHS.
Medielyn Da Jose
Spouse of Richard Garcia