Marjani came to Canada from Benin six months ago with her five children and she says it’s been a difficult transition.
“I’m all alone here,” she said. “I haven’t made any friends here yet.”
She’s not able to work yet and bills for the new apartment are coming fast and furious. It’s not easy to pay rent and electricity and have enough left over for food and basics for her five kids, ranging in age from three to 17. The children are adjusting, but it’s been especially tough for her eldest two, who help around the house while also concentrating on their schooling.
Marjani is worried her difficulties in getting settled will cost her the children, even though the reason she came to Canada was to protect them. After her last child was born, she said she spiralled into a terrible postpartum depression that made it difficult to tend to herself, let alone the kids. She’s recovered, but she’s worried that one bad impression from a schoolteacher or immigration worker could result in having her family ripped away from her.
She said there was an instance during her process of coming here when her past depression and parenting skills were brought up, and now she feels there are eyes on her, expecting her to fail. The lack of employment adds to those concerns. When you’re new to a country, you want to make the best impression, she said.
“Those kids are my world,” she said. “Everything falls on me and I’m doing the best I can. But I won’t let them down.”
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