“We’re so happy here. This is our home. If it wasn’t for Matthew House, I don’t know what would have happened. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
It was a decision no mother ever wants to make. However, the nature of Marta’s position, which involved community engagement, attracted opposition from factions in Colombia. Everything changed when the threats on her life started and Marta had no choice but to flee the country with her 11-year-old son and a couple of suitcases.
Her entire life changed in the matter of two weeks. She went from having a fulfilling career and supportive family, to arriving at the Canadian border feeling scared and unsure of what the future held.
When Marta eventually arrived at the Canadian border, she asked for asylum. Looking back at her arrival in Canada and her initial interview with immigration officials, she says she felt like a criminal. “It was very scary,” she said. “They asked me many questions and took our fingerprints.”
Her luck changed for the better when, upon hearing her story, the local immigration agency insisted on calling Matthew House, telling her that it would be the perfect place. Within a few days of arriving at the house, she knew her journey was in good hands. Marta was introduced to a refugee lawyer, who helped guide her through the settlement process.
Today, Marta has discovered a new family and home in Canada. She’s had the chance to meet people from all over the world and even travel to a summer camp in Muskoka. “It was the first time I was around such diversity” she says. Just like back in Colombia, she finds herself surrounded with a loving family and is now happily married. She’s found happiness in her work again, while her son thrives in his third-year at business school at the University of Toronto.
“Because of Matthew House, my journey started on the right foot.”