Acrylic on canvas, 16x16in - 2022

Originally a nurse from Ghana, Mercy fled her home in 2019 because she was about to be forced into a marriage not of her choice. Arriving in Canada, she had difficulty securing the support she needed to feel safe, included and valued — until she enrolled in the Food Services Training Program.

“Getting into this program was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I felt accepted; I saw that everyone wants me. This program gave me hope — I saw it not only as an opportunity, but also a career. Cooking for the community, I finally saw myself fulfilled. Waking up every morning and having this responsibility, it gave me joy, it gave me happiness.”

Mercy graduated in 2021 and worked at Chef Ric’s in the baking department and also the storefront with Monique. “This increased my confidence and self-esteem. I’m so grateful to The Mission.”