By: Mekki Herizi, Coordinator, Fast Track to Manufacturing
Noura and Muna, two sisters born and raised in Somalia, experienced a happy childhood surrounded by their loving family. However, their lives took an unexpected turn when serious safety concerns forced them to leave their homeland. Noura had just completed high school before their family’s relocation.
Their journey led them to Uganda where they sought asylum. Life as asylum seekers presented numerous challenges – adapting to a new country, unreliable and dangerous transportation, and prohibitively high health-care costs for refugees. Despite these difficulties, they held onto their dreams of a brighter future.
With their mother, they were able to move to Canada in May 2023, thanks to sponsorship by their relatives already settled in Canada.
After arriving in Canada, Noura, Muna and their family reached out to MOSAIC for assistance. They were directed to the Fast Track to Manufacturing (F2M) Plus program, which proved to be the perfect fit for both.
The F2M Plus program provides newcomer youth (ages 16-29) with a six-week program, which offers technical and job-search training in trades and manufacturing in Canada. After completion of their training, students are able to pursue entry-level jobs and apprenticeships in their chosen fields.
Noura and Muna were determined to secure a stable future for themselves and their mother. They understood that their settlement depended on their ability to establish themselves in a new environment.
Noura’s primary goal was to find a job, recognizing that everything hinged on this crucial step. MOSAIC became an essential pillar of support for Noura and her family, providing invaluable settlement services. But Noura’s transformative experience came through enrolling in the F2M Plus program.
In the program, Noura gained practical skills like crafting resumes, mastering job search strategies, preparing for interviews, understanding workplace rights, and familiarizing herself with various job-related equipment. As part of the program, financial support from MOSAIC eased her transition.
Compared to her previous life in Uganda, Noura felt a newfound sense of freedom in Canada. Joining the F2M Plus program with her sister was a bonding experience. They commuted together, discussed their future aspirations, and provided mutual support throughout their training.
The program became the catalyst for Muna’s career aspirations. She learned about workplace safety and employer expectations, earning certificates in F2M Plus completion, occupational skills training and first-aid, among other micro-credentials that significantly enhanced her resume. Most importantly, the program instilled a profound sense of confidence in her job search and interview skills.
Completing the program left Muna feeling confident and empowered. She was well-prepared to search for jobs and excel in interviews, knowing she had the backing of the F2M Plus team. Her hard work paid off when she secured an entry-level job as a production warehouse worker, granting her a newfound sense of independence. With aspirations to return to school and become a social worker to give back to her community, Muna’s future is bright.
“You will get a lot of benefits: References, staff support, financial support and build a network, and you will never regret it,” Muna says after completing the program. “Even If you just finished high school, I would recommend this program for you to explore the trades.”
Upon completing her training, Noura was motivated to actively seek employment in Canada, fortified by the constant support and job leads from the F2M Plus program team. Her job search journey was challenging, but the unwavering support kept her morale high. Eventually, Noura secured a part-time job, as a cleaning service worker; a significant step toward her long-term goal of becoming a care aide.
Noura and Muna’s remarkable journey from Somalia to Canada, supported by MOSAIC, highlights the power of determination, education, and community support. They have transformed their lives and are well on their way to achieving their dreams, embodying the spirit of resilience and success that inspires newcomers to Canada every day. Together, they have overcome adversity and are now living their dreams in a new land, grateful for the opportunities that lie ahead.
“If you are a new immigrant to Canada, you will enjoy this program. This will make you feel that you belong in Canada,” Noura says.
For information about the F2M Plus program, click here to learn more.