When I am talking with friends and they share a situation, I sometimes ask them a question. I say--"if you were successful in this challenge, what would that success look like?" Usually they share a great expectation of how things could work. I am always amazed. Success is a beautiful thing.
When my friend Nafisa came to Canada, the question was there. What will success look like? She arrived from Bangladesh needing a home, just a quiet, safe place. New Hope was able to provide that. Initially all our residents just need safety. For a month or two or even three, their primary need is to settle in to Canada and find stability. It means not worrying about theft of invaders. It means being able to walk down the street without fear of attack. After successfully negotiating quietness, the next challenge was english acquisition. She successfully negotiated that. The next challenge was job acquisition. She managed that. And today, she's doing an amazing job as a head chef at Langara College in Vancouver.
Since March of 2016 New Hope has welcomed 10 families into our residence in Surrey. Presently 3 Syrian families, 2 Iraqi families, 1 family from Ethiopia, 1 from Eritrea, 1 from the Congo, 1 from Honduras, and 1 from Pakistan all make up the New Hope Community residence. We have a total of 55 people living together finding their way in the early days into Canada.
What does success look like for us at New Hope? We like to say it happens when people move from "paralysis to productivity". Our goal is to have our residents, settled, learning english, acquiring job skills, finding confidence...and ultimately employed and contributing to the society of Canada. We think it can happen in the first 12-16 months after arrival. And when they are successful, they are encouraged to move on, establishing their own personal home. They graduate! And when they leave us to establish their own independent lives, it opens up the apartment they lived in to the next refugees family. And we start the process all over again.
Success is a target and you have to identify the target is you want to hit it.
If you or someone you know would be interested in volunteering with New Hope, check out our Take Action page, call us at 778-394-1191, or email us at
New Hope Community Services Society
13478 Hilton Road
Surrey, BC V3R 5J4