Zebib’s HIPPY Story: ‘You have the feeling that you are very confident now. You changed something.’
The biggest challenge Zebib has ever faced was moving to Canada alone with her two children in 2015, leaving her job as an accountant and her family in Eritrea. She was hoping for a better education and future for her two sons but soon realized that she was unable to support her children in preschool:
I felt frustrated because I couldn’t help my son at home, I didn’t know what he was learning especially with the Canadian curriculum.
Zebib also didn’t have the confidence to speak with her son’s teacher or volunteer in the classroom. This changed when Zebib was connected to the HIPPY program in Calgary. Her Home Visitor taught her how to work with the HIPPY curriculum, and Zebib soon felt confident to teach her children. HIPPY has also had a profound impact on her son, building a flourishing love of books:
He can’t read yet but he’ll tell you the story, change the voices, he’ll tell you it exactly. He lifts the pages like he is reading it.
Since her children graduated from the HIPPY program, Zebib has become a Home Visitor. She wants to share her story with other immigrant women facing the same challenges she did. The job has also given her the confidence she lacked before:
I feel now very confident and full of hope. Starting a job is really different from staying at home. You have the feeling that you are very confident now. You changed something.