This is a story of being on the other side of the coin, about a well-educated couple who faced a financial struggle and who needed a helping hand. There is the idea that the piece of paper confirming an educational achievement is a security blanket that ensures steady income and job security but that is not always the case. There was a time when this couple had to rely on the Calgary Food Bank four different times even though one holds a bachelor’s degree and the other holds a master’s of business administration degree. “It doesn’t matter where you come from, everyone needs a helping hand to survive sometimes,” said Benjamin.
When Benjamin and his partner immigrated from Peru, he did not speak English, didn’t have friends, and didn’t even know how to take a train or bus. “When I moved to Canada I didn’t know English so it was hard to get a job,” and that made it difficult for the couple. But he began to adapt to his new life in Canada and he took classes to learn English. Benjamin now speaks fluent English and is in a position where he can now give back to those in need and no longer depends on the Food Bank. “We cannot ignore those in need and now I strive to help others, that’s just who I am,” said Benjamin.
“If you do good for someone else, or share the necessity of life with someone else, in return a window may open for you,” said Benjamin. He also mentioned that in Peru, there isn’t a food bank organization and there is a big value to having a support system like this. The value of kindness, support and the importance of a community are showcased at the Calgary Food Bank. “My experience was amazing and liberating because when you don’t have necessities you feel embarrassed and poor however, when you meet beautiful people helping other’s it’s an amazing feeling and a blessing,” said Benjamin.
“This world is going to be better by teaching future generations that we need to do our job to be kind and help others.” –Benjamin