Mina - Wanda's Arts Award WINNER

It’s been a full year since Mina left an abusive relationship and found refuge at Savards. “My boyfriend would hit me,” she whispers, “and when I’d go to the police I couldn’t say anything.” Her situation left her feeling defeated and powerless, until she connected with Homes First. She insists that the staff saved her. The community she encountered made her feel cared for and grateful, two things she hadn’t experienced in a very long time.

Petite and soft-spoken, Mina identifies with some of the art she creates. She holds up a drawing of three birds perched on a branch under the umbrella of a bright pink flower. “I used to feel small and weak like the bird,” she says. Then she smiles and continues, “But those birds are special, like me.”

This new perspective has emerged from her participation in the art programs. Mina candidly shares that seeing her artwork on public display empowered her to feel a sense of calm and worth. She’s also become an adept knitter. “When I knit, I feel my mind come back. I feel so happy,” she cheerfully states. Every stitch she says, is a step towards rebuilding her life.

Her favourite creation is a hat that she knitted with rich multicolored yarn.  She feels the colours represent the variety of human emotion, intertwined yet simultaneously unique. This emotional spectrum is something that Mina believes ‘”we have to accept in life” and is something she’s learning to embrace.

Mina’s fellow residents are impressed by her skills and often plead for her to knit them a hat. She’s surprised at the reaction but gratefully receives it as an affirmation of her spirit.

The nomination has left Mina grinning ear to ear. “To be chosen we have to be the best,” she states. And while she doesn’t believe she’s there yet, she’s humbled that somebody else recognizes her strengths. She feels she’s already won, and any additional prize would be collectively shared with the women at Savards.

Become an Art Partner today and help our residents pursue their talent.