Nuhaa and her mentor Samantha met at a United Way funded after-school program and connected over their shared love of art

Supporting child and youth mental wellness

Nuhaa’s family had to leave Syrian when it became too dangerous to stay.

When she started school, eight-year-old Nuhaa felt lonely, isolated, and sad. Language barriers created challenges at school. Low confidence was a mounting issue. She felt incredible sadness after leaving many relatives, friends, and her support network behind in Syria.

“I missed my family and I was scared nobody wanted to be my friend.”


Nuhaa’s mom found out about a local after-school program supported by United Way. She thought it could help Nuhaa gain confidence and make new friends in their new community.

“I could get help with my homework and do activities. I was so excited to go there!”

There, she met Samantha, another young immigrant who faced similar challenges when she first came to Canada. Their shared love of art helped them connect.

“We have a lot of fun together. I’m happy I get to go there after school.”

Thanks to her mentor Samantha, Nuhaa has gained self-esteem, settled into her new life in Canada, and is thriving. She is now fluent in English, a confident student, and a skilled painter. She is finally seeing a brighter future.

The #unignorable local issue

70% of adults with a mental illness indicate their symptoms first emerged during childhood and adolescence.

Over three million Canadian children and youth are at risk for depression.

In 2017, United Way of Calgary and Area investments supported 31,769 children and youth to succeed.