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Richmond Village Refugee Welcome Will Be Welcoming Refugees Soon!

Article by: Stephanie Williams

Map Showing the Route from Istanbul to Ankara

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]February 26 was the big day! Our family was called on February 8 to present themselves in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, 450 km away from where they are living in Istanbul, to be interviewed by Canadian Immigration. Our group scrambled to make arrangements to get the family and all the necessary paperwork to Ankara on time. Armed with all the requisite documents ( in duplicate) and photos of the family members, they made a very favourable impression. They also had their medical examinations done that same day. And so, at long last, they have received approval from the Canadian authorities to come to Canada.  After the agonisingly long wait to be called and the lack of certainty that they would be approved, it was a huge relief!

They still don’t know the date of their flight to Canada; it could be in a month, or two, March, April or later, but their situation is so much more positive that they must be feeling relieved and excited. So now it’s up to us in Richmond to make all the preparations for their arrival, which will be no simple task.

Over the last 2 years, the generous people of Richmond helped us raise enough money to support a family of 6 at a basic level for one year, but now the work really begins. We must find a suitable house or apartment, furnish and equip it.  When we began this project, many kind friends made donations of furniture, but because of the seemingly relentless delays, we have stored what we could accommodate and been forced to defer or even refuse further kind offers.  There are still some items that we will need as soon as the family arrives at Ottawa International Airport.

The family includes 4 boys, aged 6, 8, 12 and 14, for whom we don’t yet have beds. We are looking for 2 twin beds, and 2 twin mattresses for the bunk beds that we have in storage. If anyone is upgrading their computer and would like to donate their old one, please let us know.  The younger boys are especially looking forward to riding bicycles, so we would be grateful for used bikes too.

If you have any of these items that you  would like to donate, or if you know someone else who might, please contact RVRW by emailing

The flight from Istanbul to Ottawa