WOW Ambassador: Carol Gervais
Nominator: Maisa Almadi

A Chance for a Better Life

When St. James Anglican Church in Manotick contacted Maisa Almada about sponsorsing her family to come to Canada, she knew it was a unique chance for a better life. Maisi, an Iraqi, her Palestinian husband and five children arrived in Ottawa in October 2018. They had lived as refugees in Indonesia, but now looked forward to a new home. 

“I am very happy and grateful to have this new life,” states Maisa. “I always dreamed of a better future for my family. Thank goodness this church sponsored us. I now know my children will live a good life here in Canada where we are safe.” 

One of the sponsor group’s members, Carol Gervais, became particularly close to the family. “Carol is a very nice, friendly and helpful person,” says Maisa. 

 As the rental occupancy rate is so high in Ottawa, finding suitable housing for the family of seven presented a challenge. “Carol moved out of her home so that we could rent it at an affordable price,” explains Maisa.  

“Ottawa has a housing crisis, so it felt wrong that I was living in a three-bedroom townhouse by myself,” says Carol. “When the challenge of finding accommodation was raised, I went to the refugee sponsorship committee to offer my house and moved into an apartment belonging to my sister.” 

 “She also g