From the Philippines, to Saipan, to the U.S., then Canada: these are the places where my footprints have been. My life has been painted by these places, diversified by culture, people, values, and differences which I have assimilated and which have become part of who I am. Life has always been a continuing journey for me. Every stop means a reset, being planted in the soil, withstanding the elements, and becoming woven into the local culture and people. The memories and the wisdom I have gained in every place are downloaded in my memory buckets ready to be fetched when I need them. From the extremely hot islands to the exceedingly cold face of the north, with all things being equal, truly the basics of life are the same everywhere, given to you in distinctive shades and flavours. From pan de sal, to coconut titiyas, to bagels, and to amazing bannocks, life is still awesome!
Canada is now my second home and my family has lived here for over 10 years now. I have worked many jobs, but those in teaching come closest to me. Knowing that, I joined the NWTLC in the fall of 2020, when the pandemic was at its peak! As a team, we navigated through the course of one of the most challenging times of our lives. We put our best foot and hand forward to make a difference in the lives of the families we support, hoping to ease their fears as we worked through ours.
As a HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) Coordinator/Home Visitor, I became a virtual delivery expert during the pandemic, reaching out to families, bringing knowledge of literacy, essential skills, and language into the homes through the HIPPY curriculum, a well-scripted and structured 30-week program of lessons and activities for children ages 3-5. Through online home visits, families using HIPPY rose above their isolation, depression, insecurities, hopelessness, and numerous barriers. That was over two years ago.
Multicultural HIPPY is on its third year in the NWT and growing bigger and stronger by the day. We have now begun our in-person home visits building on in-depth engagement to better strengthen our families. The bigger picture is to extend our reach and support the families in elevating their way of life, while embracing their new lives in Canada, the country they now call second home.
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