November 2017 – Refugee Sponsorship Initiative Update
While our refugee sponsorship status officially ended February 2017 there were a few things that the refugee committee continued working on with the family. The housing group helped in finding a new home as the lease on the initial home ended June 30. Some of the committee members helped the family with the physical move during the last week in June to a duplex in the Greenview/Thorncliffe community. Other members helped the family clean the old residence and as there was sufficient damage beyond normal wear and tear, the committee settled with the landlord with an extra amount for repairs that the damage deposit did not cover. The education group helped the school aged children (Ahmad, Kholoud, and Abdullah) get registered in the Thorncliffe Elementary School and helped with the application for subsidized school fees. The school is in walking distance and all the school aged children are in the same school. Nesreen (mother) is attending the “Y” for English language education 4 afternoons each week and there is childcare provided for the youngest child, Amer. Ayoub (father) signed up for English language education for 2 evenings a week. Ayoub found himself employment in May and was working in the warehouse until he hurt his back which he reports is 60-70% good so the family is again on Alberta Works (social assistance).
In total the supporting congregations of Deer Park, McDougall, Scarboro and St. Andrew’s spent $51,300, shared equally for the sponsorship of the family. In addition to the damage deposits (3,500); the largest expenses were for utilities, rent and family budget (21,600); medical and dental (13,200); and childcare (7,400) so both parents could attend English language classes 5 days a week.
The family has been to Edmonton to visit some Syrian friends from their hometown in Syria and say they enjoyed West Edmonton Mall. The sponsorship committee members have learned lots about a family’s resilience of fleeing their homeland and arriving in a new country, new language and customs as well as coming from a rural setting to a new life in a city. May God bless this family as they continue to find their way in Canada.