50 Faces of SECC – Alberto


Alberto’s life before coming to Canada was a precarious one. In his native country, he lived a life in which he was constantly having to move to different places for his own safety. He was eventually forced to leave his family in Colombia, as he fled to Ecuador where he had to work hard in several different jobs just to survive, but through this he acquired many skills in various fields. He experienced many difficult and life-threatening years with significant impact on his health. He was finally able to make it to Canada with an oxygen tank.

After Alberto arrived in Canada, his life improved greatly. He enrolled in SECC’s Language Classes and began to work closely with a Settlement Worker who facilitated many opportunities. He had a very generous spirit, always coming to the agency with fruit from his job to share what little he had in a show of gratitude. Through his close working relationship with his Settlement Worker and SECC, he was able to be referred to many programs. After successfully receiving the proper medical care and enrolling in community and city services through the help of SECC, he eventually improved to the point where he no longer required his oxygen-tank and Doctor’s in Canada were able to provide him with the medical attention he desperately needed.  His positive energy and enthusiasm opened the door for many opportunities, finally becoming a successful welder. Although he struggled upon first arriving to Canada, he became a Canadian citizen in May 2022 and is happy, employed and about to make the journey to finally reunited with his family in Colombia again, after 19 long years to share his happiness and tales with them about his new life.

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