Maryam Ahmed, a lifelong hard worker, a caring and loving wife, and daughter in law, did everything she could to support her husband, more so than ever when some bad business decisions left them with nothing. They lost everything; their house, their cars, their money and even Maryam's gold, which was sold to help them relocate to Canada. She left behind her family, friends, and a well paying job, not thinking twice. Unfortunately, things didn't get better. Although she was able to find a job, and although she spent all her earnings on her husband and her house, paying for the rent, utilities, food, and even a car, and although she was also a full-time Masters student, she made sure that didn't affect her role as a wife. Unfortunately, this did not stop the slur of attacks, swearing, belittling and condescension. It also didn’t stop the physical abuse or the tirades when he was angry or upset. On at least two of those occasions he had divorced her, only to come back asking for forgiveness and promising to treat her better. Her hard work and dedication to her house and husband also didn’t stop her mother-in-law from treating her like she was worthless and useless. Reminding her constantly of her lack of womanhood for not bearing children.
The day came when her husband and mother-in-law kicked her out of the house. "You're divorced" was the last thing he said to her. That was the third divorce. It was officially over.
She spent two nights at a friends house before leaving because her friends husband didn’t want to get involved. While wondering the streets of Burlington, Maryam decided her only option was to call Nisa Homes. That same night Maryam came to Nisa Homes with one suitcase, a broken heart and an endless supply of tears. But our House Operators and volunteers were there for her, reminding her of how courageous, strong and smart she was for everything she had accomplished in life and for reaching out to us for help. That first stage is always the hardest. It's difficult to fathom being all on your own after having spent over 20 years with someone day in and day out. Having to learn to accept what happened, and focus on the future and on restarting your life; figuring out what you will do now, from working to support yourself and your children, to finding a place to live and telling your family and friends what happened. This first stage of grief, stress and fear can only be overcome with a strong support system, that's where Nisa Homes comes in.
Working together, we helped Maryam regain her confidence, rebuild herself and realize her strength. Our staff and volunteers supported her in completing her masters and assisted her in applying for social assistance, housing and other services. During her stay at Nisa Homes, Maryam not only completed her Masters from Ryerson University but was also hired upon graduation and moved into her own apartment soon after.
Four months after moving in, Maryam now had a masters degree, a full time job and an affordable apartment.