What would it be like to risk your life to escape your home country and leave everything you know behind? Maria was just a teenager when she came to the Red Door with her mom and sister. Their country was being torn apart by a vicious civil war, and they had no choice but to flee.
"Our family was facing a country torn by a vicious civil war. The home we knew was no longer safe, and violence was becoming all too commonplace. As impossible as it seemed to leave behind everything we knew – friends, family, culture, home – it was our only option!
Arriving in Canada, we were lucky enough to come to the Red Door. The Red Door welcomed us and pulled us away from an isolation that had been trying to creep closer since we arrived.
"Thanks to both the Red Door and the strength of our family, we have been able to make Canada our new home. Today, we’re living in Toronto in a two bedroom apartment. My mother and I have both been able to find full time work and my sister is flourishing in school.
I believe that all of the experiences I have had and especially my time at the Red Door, helped shape me into the person that I am today.
My sister and I continue to volunteer with the Red Door because we want new arrivals to feel the love, support, and refuge that we experienced firsthand. It makes all the difference in helping to make a terrifying experience into a new, happy memory."