Giving back to the community
When Anna came to Canada from the Congo she felt limited by her lack of computer and language skills. Despite having completed university in her home country, Anna was adrift and without prospects. In 1999, Anna took part in the three-month-long Connections Program for new immigrants at St. Stephen's Employment & Training Centre and learned customer service, front desk and admin skills. St. Stephen's staffed arranged a placement for Anna at the non-profit African community health service organization, ACHES. It was a perfect fit.
“At ACHES, I worked on the front desk, and then started to assist people doing support for clients living with HIV and AIDS," says Anna. "The [Executive Director] saw my skills, realised that I have a passion and that I’m a Francophone and asked me to stay. St. Stephen’s helped me discover who I was. They made a new beginning for me.”
Today, Anna is working with Africans in Partnerships Against AIDS, and she's no longer on the front desk, instead putting her many skills and talents to work in Community Development. “St. Stephen’s did this," she says. "They made this life possible!”