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Refugee Family Closing In On Move To Canada



by Stephanie Williams

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]This week, we received notification that permanent resident visas have been issued to our Syrian family, and final resettlement arrangements are taking place with the International Organization for Migration ( IOM). Heba, Mohammad Jneid and their 4 boys are still waiting for exit visas, and to be assigned a flight out of Turkey to Ottawa. This notice informed us that the family will arrive within 4 to 10 weeks and we will get 10 days’ notice of their actual arrival.

When they finally arrive the Jneids will face massive culture shock. Fortunately the Canadian government provides assistance for new Canadians to make the transition which will be initiated upon their arrival. RVRW is determined to make their settlement as happy & smooth as possible, and we are lucky to have one valuable asset in the form of Heba’s sister, Samar.  Samar and her three boys were sponsored by a community group more than 2 years ago and have been living in Kanata. Recently they have moved to a location in Ottawa that is more conducive to their needs: having proximity to Adult English as a Second Language training , schools with ESL within walking distance for the boys, easily accessible bus and transit, shops & services close by. Re-unification of families is one of the objectives of refugee assimilation in Canada, and RVRW will be delighted to be able to unite the two sisters and seven boys.

Preparations are now gearing up for the day of arrival. We are searching for a suitable house close to Samar’s home. Next we will install the furniture which has already been donated by generous supporters.* Plans for arrival, installation in the house, application for documents such as Ontario Health Cards, school registration and the myriad details of Canadian life are being organised. Later in the summer we hope to throw a welcome party in Richmond for the Jneids to say hello and thank you to all the people who have so generously supported them.


Stephanie Williams

* but we are still in need of 2 more single/twin beds; bicycles for the boys would be lovely!