Christmas Fund: Back injury floors family

Adilah and her husband have worn many hats in their 15 years in Canada.

For now, she works part time at a grocery store, which allows her to utilize some of the skills she picked up in culinary school.

In February, she hopes to enter another program — this time to work at a pharmacy. She’s waiting to hear back about her acceptance.

“My husband is also looking to do training,” she said. “We’re both hoping for good news for next year.”

This year, Adilah will be one of the thousands of Montrealers in need to receive a $125 cheque from the Montreal Gazette Christmas Fund. The fund helps make the holidays a little easier for those in tough situations.


This article is representative of the people your donations are helping. Because of resource limitations and privacy restrictions, the Montreal Gazette cannot accept non-monetary contributions. Donations to the Christmas Fund this year can be made exclusively online at

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Adilah and her husband have worn many hats in their 15 years in Canada.

Originally a quality technician for semiconductors in her native Morocco, she ultimately stopped working as an electro-mechanic when her children were born. She and her husband have also worked together in the past for a family business.

At the start of the year, Adilah was pursuing a life passion: taking courses to get a diploma in cooking. She started in 2019, but the pandemic prevented her from finishing on time. She got a chance to get her diploma later on, but with restrictions on businesses, she didn’t feel comfortable looking for work at a restaurant and potentially putting her or her family in danger.

“I love cooking; I cooked for my family. With the program, I really wanted to discover the field,” she said. “But there were aspects of the profession I didn’t enjoy as much.”

She didn’t have much time to consider the dangers of entering the workforce, as a back injury suffered by her husband has left her as the primary earner in the family, especially while her older kids remain in school. She also has eye and back problems, which makes computer-intensive jobs less than ideal.

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