Our family (with parents Sabah, Zuhir and their five young children) arrived in Ottawa on Thursday, February 18! They were greeted by many Unitarians and other members of our volunteer team. It was a wonderful welcome with much excitement and applause. Sabah (the mother) said she was very nervous and worried until she saw us all at the bottom of the escalator. They were taken to their temporary residence, a two bedroom condo. The team shared a Syrian dinner with them, provided by a volunteer.
After living on a farm with a leaky roof near Beirut for the last five years, the family expressed their gratitude through our interpreter: "They are grateful to be here and to have had all of you who took the time to come greet them at the airport...they feel very lucky to have been chosen by you and are very excited to meet you... The kids are overjoyed and in heaven, they have not seen a toy in five years."
The family of seven will arrive in Ottawa this week! We are very excited to welcome them and help them settle into their temporary accommodation. Most household items and furniture have been generously donated and the family is now well set up, however, we are still looking for the following:
Thank you to everyone who has participated in this effort - it takes a village to shelter a family!
First the sad news―we are unable to sponsor the first family we chose, because we were advised by an immigration lawyer that it is unlikely they would pass the security checks used during the Canadian immigration process. This is the family composed of parents, two grandparents and four children. The Steering Committee made this decision after much reflection and deliberation.
The good news is that we have secured permanent housing starting April 1st for our second family (with five children). We are now looking for temporary accommodation in case they arrive before April 1st. If you have any suggestions, please let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, we are busy looking for another family through the BVOR list.