After 1 ½ years of living in Canada, it was no shock to hear Sundar say there are times where he feels he made the biggest mistake of his life. Then, he recalls the real reason he came – to give his children a better life.
Every day the challenge to overcome poverty is a struggle but what gets Sundar through, like most people living in poverty, is hope. “Hope gives you strength to believe you will live a better life and that you just need to fight each day for what it brings,” says Sundar.
Here are four reasons why hope matters to Sundar:
1. Hope gives him strength to believe his life will get better:
To be honest, I am here for my kids. I came to Canada because I know it is one of the best places to live in the world and I want my kids to live a better life. Back home in Nepal, there are political and economic problems that are getting worse.
Hope gives me the strength to believe there are better opportunities for my family and gave me the strength to leave my life back in Nepal with the belief that we will live a better life here in Canada. Hope gives me the strength to know that one day we will no longer be living in poverty.
2. Hope forces him to challenge himself, mentally, physically and spiritually:
Back home, I was a good accounting professional, a finance auditor with more than 20 years of experience. I had a very good reputation, good income and life was good. I thought coming to Canada would not be this difficult but I am having a hard time getting a professional job because my academic qualifications and experience are not recognized here.
Every day is a challenge and struggle. We are living from paycheque to paycheque and it’s really difficult to keep a roof over our head. I worked at Tim Hortons and am now working as a security guard. We are living on only one income in a household with two boys and a wife in school. We have to pay all the bills, rent, groceries and everything… it is financially very hard but I have to keep believing that every challenge will get us one step closer to a better life.
3. Hope gives him courage to stay strong for his family:
There are so many times I think, ‘what am I doing here in this country.’ Sometimes I get sad that I am not providing for my family. I spend so many nights without sleeping. My wife and I don’t tell our children that we are low-income and that we cannot provide. Everything we do is for them. In fact, we try to fulfill their needs first because we don’t want them to feel they are low-income. We want to protect them and give them the strength they need to be successful. Hope gives me courage to stay strong for my wife and my kids. We have to be very courageous and positive that we can better our lives because it keeps us motivated.
4. Because of hope, he knows one day, change will happen:
This really is a struggle. After a 1 ½ years, we are still struggling. We never imagined how difficult it would be because we thought our professional qualifications would be recognized, but they are not. It’s okay though because I hope and I know that one day my qualifications will be recognized and our lives will change. Already, so much has changed… I get to share my story of hope and show what low-income families are feeling and experiencing and what their issues, hopes and aspirations are. I believe this report from United Way of Calgary and Area, will lead to change and will help families like mine, live a better life.
I am living in poverty and yes I am struggling here in this country, but I really believe in hope – I am still here. Hope matters.
How important is hope in a person’s life? Does hope matter? Share your thoughts with us.