A career fair held exclusively for Ukrainian visitors who've come to Canada was held today (Thursday) at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie.
Among the 100 visitors was Natalia Shcherbak. She says she's staying in downtown Winnipeg, and notes how different it is from what she's seen here in our city of possibilities.
"I love this place so much," notes Shcherbak. "I really appreciate all the members of this community who organized this trip for us. I really appreciate all citizens and government who gives the opportunity for people to not only visit, but make it easy to settle here and find a job. We are waiting for a career fair. Some of us are really interested to see what jobs are available here."
She notes she enjoyed the delicious lunch served by McCain Foods.
"It's an absolutely welcome atmosphere," continues Shcherbak. "It's different in Canada and I really appreciate it. We've seen many places, huge companies, hospitals, schools, and we've seen some living areas. We could see how organized, clean and gorgeous the places are here. I would like to stay here if I'm lucky enough today to find my employer. I would move into this place with great pleasure and I would love to see my job here today."
Shcherbak explains she'd love to find a job that's suited to her and something in which she could invest her skills and time. She adds if she found that, she would move here immediately.
Bledar Leshica, Iryma Romanova and their son were thankful for being invited to the fair, and says Portage is fantastic.
"We arrived in Canada on the 16th of June, and on 17th we arrived in Winnipeg," says Leshica "We've been here a month and couple of days."
Romanova says she's amazed with our city, noting European cities are not so impressive.
"So, if you wanted to see something very amazing you have to go to the big cities for something attractive," notes Romanova. "But the very first thing that touched my eyes and touched my heart was the lake. I fell in love with this lake and especially the roads for the pedestrians where you can walk with your family. We had a city tour with the bus and I saw there are so many places where you can stay with your kids, where you can have a nice time, and it's so clean, so tidy, so cozy, and so beautiful."
She says the houses are so beautiful and the community reminds her of what you see in movies.
"Canada, with small houses with a small yard and a lot of flowers, that's just like exactly like a city from the movies that you imagine. That's how I see that so far in Portage la Prairie."
She says they have not yet decided where they want to live.
"The first thing I learned in Canada is that it's harder to find daycare than to find a job and a place to rent," continues Romanova. "So, we first have to find a day care for our son and then we can search for a job. Since we don't have any Canadian experience, and Canada is the second biggest country in the world, we'll see. We're going to check the cities where we're going to feel more comfortable and we can be useful for the community, also."
Romanova says it's quite a lot to take in to choose one city to stay there for good.
"Until February 24th, we never intended to come to Canada," adds Romanova. "We thought we'd maybe like a visit to come and see Niagara Falls, something that everybody's talking about, but not to come and live here. After the 24th of February, everything changed. And it's very hard to make a long-term plan. We're living right now with a maximum plan of one week at a time. That's not a popular plan, to be quite honest with you, but that's how we live now because it's very hard to make any kind of plans."
Leshica adds he just loves this country.