Ladyne Viokolo Kala
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo - Calgary
Art by Emily Honderich
Ladyne Viokolo Kala story
Ladyne Viokolo Kala was born in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is the fifth in a family of 18 children. She studied business and accounting but didn’t complete university. She immigrated to Canada as a refugee in 2003, finding it difficult to live in her country for political and safety reasons. She has five daughters and is studying practical nursing.
COVID-19 WAS A BREAK!
I am a single mom with five children ranging in age from 14 to 3 years. Before COVID-19, I was going to college to escape from the noisy house, and to study practical nursing. The pandemic brought a big “STOP” sign to our busy life. Areas of my life, my children’s lives, and even my ex-husband’s life were immobilized by the virus.
First, the change in my education. The school shut down in March and consequently I lost the quiet area where I used to do my studies and where I had access to help. I became a long-distance student and needed to learn different apps on the computer to access virtual classes. Studying at home was very hard for my children and me because I had to make sure that the house was clean before any of us could attend our virtual classes.
Furthermore, money had become a problem. I worked as a health care aide with one agency but only for a month before the contract expired. Again, because of COVID, I couldn't work somewhere else as I had worked for that first agency. With all this mess, I failed two of my courses. COVID-19 made me feel powerless as a learner, as a caregiver, and as a mother. I was no longer able to think about the number of deaths that the virus caused in my family abroad. I had to concentrate on my own situation.
COVID-19 also brought my family together. A few days before the pandemic, my ex-husband lost his house and came to live with us. Before that, he used to spend days and nights at my house to try to come back into our lives, but I always had questions that were never answered. My busy life never gave me time to focus on his demands until COVID-19. We avoided discussing our differences inside the home. Instead, we sat in the car until finally, we decided to promote love and respect back inside the house. We were able to build a stronger relationship and sit together at dinner with our children and have deep and constructive conversations.
In conclusion, I know that COVID was not easy for us as a family because it was a brutal change. Losing my job and failing in school put me on my knees. But it helped me to remember why I chose to become a practical nurse. It also helped me accept my husband back after four years of separation and build a true and strong relationship with our family.
"In conclusion, I know that COVID was not easy for us as a family because it was a brutal change. Losing my job and failing in school put me on my knees. But it helped me to remember why I chose to become a practical nurse. It also helped me accept my husband back after four years of separation and build a true and strong relationship with our family."