Nagham, Awarded a Because Mothers Matter Award 2015
Nagham was six months pregnant at the time of her arrival in Canada and was burdened with the initial challenge of finding accessible perinatal care. Afterwards, she was isolated in her home with her new baby and three-year-old:
I just got isolated inside the house and I had my newborn baby and I didn’t know anything about the services, I didn’t know anything and I felt so sad about it. I didn’t know where to take him…it was winter and my husband was looking for a job and he was not available all the time...I wish that I knew HIPPY at that time.
Nagham signed up for HIPPY after one of her friends told her about the program. She really likes what she has learned from the HIPPY program and says:
Most of the parents don’t know that they have to sit with their child. I knew it before but...I learned from HIPPY how important it is to practice…So I started working with my child, and this is the best thing I like about HIPPY, working with my child. We like playing, not strictly education like “write for me this and this;” everything comes with the play, the story, songs, the role-play where we can take turns, all this stuff I really love it and I can see it really helps my child.
Her son really likes the program, and Nagham sees how HIPPY has helped him excel in school:
He likes to do the activities, likes to do the games with the HIPPY program, likes to do the science experiments…he liked telling stories especially when we would do the puppet show or playing the story, he liked doing this stuff…It helps my child a lot because he’s learning the language. The teacher asked me one day, “is he getting extra help or something like that?”…She recognized from the class that he knows many things.
Aside from the benefits of the curriculum for her and her son, Nagham says:
The HIPPY program has helped me a lot to adjust to life in Canada. Through HIPPY, I started going outside. My site was at the Hub, and I decided to go discover what was at the Hub and I applied for a volunteering job over there. Then I started volunteering and it was working at the reception… After that, I saw that they were hosting a workshop… about how to choose a college or university…I got accepted for the EC, Early Childhood Education and Social Services worker, both of them actually…I thought I like to help families, like to help newcomers, with my experience as a new immigrant, I want to do that.