Our Second Family has arrived!
In mid- August, Mohammad and Nadeen, with their children Sedra (three years old) and Khaled (two), arrived at the Ottawa airport to a welcoming group of volunteers. Several members of our first family joined the celebration as well. Our second family’s long journey went via Amman, Cairo and Toronto to a warm summer rain in Ottawa.
They have now settled into their furnished two-bedroom apartment and have acquainted themselves with their neighbourhood, visiting banks, supermarkets, drugstores and the library, guided by volunteers and a team of interpreters. Both parents have started ESL at Algonquin last week and have secured daycare for their two children close to home.
The volunteer support team has done a fabulous job attending to all of the many tasks required to ensure that the family settles comfortably into their new life in Ottawa.
Our First Family is doing well...
Sabah and Zuhir and their five children Mohammed, Ahmed, Yazan, Jana and Sham arrived six months ago and have since made huge strides in settling into their new community. Over the summer, Zuhir, Sabah and the kids have been meeting neighbours and enjoying the many nearby pools and parks. In addition, they have been helping their cousins, who arrived in July as Government Assisted Refugees, and are now living just a few doors away from them.
Zuhir is now taking a more challenging English program at Algonquin which he is working hard at and he is learning to drive. The three boys are back at school where they are learning English with ease. Sabah is hoping to start formal ESL on a part-time basis soon, but meanwhile is still receiving in-home ESL, supplemented by visits from a very committed team of volunteers.
Our Third Family is yet to come...
The sponsorship application has now been submitted for our third family which was found through the Ottawa Syrian community. Like our first two families, we will be responsible for their financial support and settlement for one year. We expect it will take at least a year before the family arrives given the estimated processing time by the Canadian government.