Life Skills - Providing Hands-On Assistance
For refugees, arriving in Canada can be an overwhelming experience, as these newcomers are immediately inundated with change. Everything is different: the language, culture, environment, social expectations, use of technology, and basic skill set necessary for everyday life. The Life Skills program builds confidence and competencies by teaching important skills such as taking the bus; shopping for, preparing, and safely storing food; using household appliances; maintaining a clean, safe home; budgeting; laundry; and accessing community services.
By respecting and valuing the culture, experience, and wisdom possessed by our clients, we add to existing skill sets and are witness to countless successes.
The challenges to refugees are numerous. For example, many of these newcomers are part of large family groups and this can make housing particularly difficult. Very often, two apartments are needed in order to accommodate all the family members. This means that family finances are stretched to the max; there is never, ever, enough to go around. Life Skills families also have a hard time coping with the winter. GGP is collecting donations of coats, toques, gloves, scarves, and warm socks to help.
In spite of the challenges, Life Skills families remain very positive—excited to make a new start in Canada, start English classes and make new friends. The excitement that comes with seeing a new technology or learning a new skill such as baking a cake is contagious and, as a result, one of the greatest joys of working in Life Skills is learning how to see the world with fresh eyes.