Arwa’s family found a place to belong at Montreal City Mission.

Primary Media
Closeup of Arwa
Credit: Arwa Nofal
Published On: February 13, 2023

We all need someone who believes in us. Someone who supports our dreams. Here’s one story of how your belief and support make all the difference.

In 2017, Arwa was a Palestinian refugee who had just arrived in Montreal. She had made a harrowing journey, travelling from Saudi Arabia through New York City with three children in tow. “It wasn’t easy for me. I was a single mom in a new country with new people. I was struggling for housing and looking for a job. It wasn’t easy at all,” she says.

Arwa sought help at Montreal City Mission, an outreach ministry your Mission & Service gifts support. There, her whole family found a place to belong. Arwa’s children made friends, and she benefited from training programs and events.

It wasn’t long before Arwa gathered a group of women together to form a catering cooperative called Women Weaving Their Dreams, which specializes in homemade Middle Eastern meals. The group was going strong and the women were becoming more financially secure when COVID-19 struck.

No stranger to hardship, Arwa was determined to help others through the pandemic. She initiated a sewing circle to make masks. In a relatively short period of time, the women of this sewing group made over 2,000 cloth masks for unhoused people and people with low incomes in their community. “I was so happy to help people,” says Arwa, whose extraordinary leadership skills landed her a full-time job at Montreal City Mission.

“I consider myself a lucky person that I got to know this organization. It has become not only my full-time job, not only my provider. It has become my home. I hope to see more and more women getting the same chance to have this better life for their families,” she says. “I wanted a country that could hold me and hug me my whole life long. I found it in Canada.”

Your Mission & Service gifts support people’s dreams for a better life—amazing people who make their communities and our country stronger.