Meet Tamara: A mother’s fight

With her three children clutching her hands and her in-laws following closely behind, Tamara escaped war-torn Ukraine, reluctantly leaving her husband—her best friend—behind. She boarded the plane to Calgary, hoping the city will provide a safe haven for her two-year old, nine-year old, and 14-year-old.

Being the only adult in her family proficient in English, Tamara bore the responsibility of managing all aspects of her family’s settlement journey. Feeling overwhelmed, unable to find employment or adequate housing for her family, and struggling with school enrolment for her three children, Tamara sought guidance from Gateway.

With the support of a Gateway Newcomer Planner at Immigrant Services Calgary, Tamara learned about childcare services and government subsidies in Alberta, was guided through the school registration process for all three of her children, and received free clothing, diapers, and furniture through Gateway referrals. As her children’s needs were met, Tamara worked with her Gateway Newcomer Planner to focus on her next steps, including a language assessment, language classes, and employment support programs to help her with her job search, career development, and employment training. A trained accountant, Tamara hopes to secure meaningful employment in her field, while continuing to support her family.

Photo of Tamara's nine-year-old and 14-year-old

With a Gateway Personalized Plan in hand and the support of Gateway Newcomer Planner, Tamara is taking all the necessary steps to help her family settle into their new lives in Calgary.

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