The Galay family is a close-knit family. John is a devout Christian and together with his wife, Devi, they have raised their daughters, Himali and Sumjana, with the same faith and commitment to service.
“We always told our daughters that we need to help others, just as we were helped,” he says.
John came to Canada from Nepal in 1988. He already had experience working with people who live with developmental disabilities and although it took time to settle into this country, he soon found work in this field. In 2002, he was hired by Communitas as a Support Worker (RSW), helping adults living with developmental disabilities to live an abundant life. Throughout his 20 years with Communitas, John has had opportunities to learn and grow. He has managed homes for adults and today, he manages a home living option for children living with complex care needs. John loves his work and the opportunities it provides.
I was given so many chances and opportunities in my life and God has shown me how important it is to give others a second chance too. – John, home manager
His daughters are both in university, studying for careers of service. Sumjana is studying to be a nurse, and Himali is headed for a career in social work. Both have had opportunities to volunteer with Communitas and in recent years, Himali has also joined the organization as a Support Worker. She reflects on how much her father influenced that journey.
“We grew up hearing about dad’s experiences and so when he suggested that I volunteer with Communitas, it seemed like a natural thing to do,” she says.
She volunteered in a home setting and discovered a passion for caring for others.
When I saw that I could have an impact on the lives of others, I thought ‘wow, could I do this?’ – Himali, Support Worker
The answer was yes. She also had opportunities to volunteer in a day-service setting and realized how diverse the organization was both in terms of people served and services offered. These volunteer opportunities also complimented her studies in social work but it wasn’t until her dad suggested she apply for a casual position that she seriously considered working at Communitas.
“I completed the online application and went for the interview. I remember being so nervous,” she says with a laugh. “When I was called and offered the position I was so happy!”
Himali’s experiences at Communitas have given her a chance to work with a diverse group of people both in terms of staff teams and people she serves. She knows this will serve her well in her chosen career.
“I have to have an open mind and put my biases aside,” she says. “I have to focus on the individual and say ‘how am I going to help this person today?’ I’m learning to be kind, open, patient, and loving.”
While Communitas does not allow relatives to work in the exact same setting, John is grateful that his daughters have both been able to have volunteer experiences with Communitas and that Himali is able to work in a different home. That they are both able to live out their desire to serve others in the workplace is a gift that John doesn’t take for granted.
Both father and daughter talk about Communitas as a place of opportunity and growth. John says that he was drawn to Communitas because of its mission statement: inspired by Jesus Christ, Communitas will be a place of belonging, growth, and contribution. He is grateful that he can be his authentic self in the workplace and credits his faith in God for giving him the courage and ability to do the work he is given.
“I always pray and then I say I will do what I can do and leave the rest to God,” he says.
Himali says she recommends Communitas to anyone who wants to work in an inclusive environment – both in terms of staff teams and people who are served by the organization.
“I’ve found Communitas to be a very supportive work environment that nourishes the potential in their staff and creates opportunities for their employees to grow,” she says.
When Adria reflects on her journey towards mental wellness, she recognizes that the journey began with a reconnection to her indigenous roots.