Padma Maya Adhikari came to Canada with her husband, daughter, and two sons from a refugee camp in Bhutan. Since their arrival three years ago, Padma has worked her way through three levels of Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia literacy programs. She enjoys learning English and Canadian culture, and is happy that she is beginning to read and write more independently. Padma still sometimes needs support from family members to communicate with others in the community, like when she goes to the doctor’s office or pays bills at the bank, but she’s also been trying to do things on her own, knowing it gets easier with practice. School trips and themed workshops provide learning experiences out in the community. They boost her confidence and encourage her to be independent.
“I have never been to school before I moved to Canada. My life was always busy taking care of my family and supporting my community back in Bhutan. I had never got a chance to read and write in my language even though I always wanted to. I am very thankful to Canada and Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia giving me a chance to learn English and many other things for starting a new life in Canada. I remember that I just started with ABC and “Hi.” Many teachers helped me learn English so far and I love learning things every day. I also like how girls and women are equally given a chance to learn if we want in Canada. I am very happy for my daughter and my children!”
Padma has been attending the Sewing Skills Sharing workshops, learning great practical skills and loves the experience. So much so that she dreams of starting a small home-based alteration and sewing business in the future.