Two more Families have arrived!
We are delighted to report that two of the community groups, with whom the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa (FUCO) has Memoranda of Understanding to sponsor Syrians, have welcomed families to Ottawa!
On November 21st, SalamOttawa welcomed their sponsored family (parents and two children). The family has just settled into their permanent home in early January, after a temporary arrangement staying with one of the group members.
Then just two days later on November 23rd, OttawaWelcomes gave a warm welcome to the Mohammed Alkarad and his family (parents, grandparents and one child) at the Ottawa airport. Mohammed was a champion wrestler in Syria. While living in a Jordan refugee camp, he built a training program that has welcomed 25,000 children in the past four years. He is now connected with the National Capital Wrestling Club. If you’d like to find out more about him, check out: OttawaWelcomes Facebook page
Our third community partner, Boat of Hope, is waiting patiently but as yet, has not received any news about when the family might arrive. Our fourth community partner is a family who needed help sponsoring their relatives - they arrived in Ottawa in September and are settling in well.
Meanwhile, we are almost at the end of FUCO’s formal sponsorship period for the first family (although many on the team will continue their strong ties of friendship) and we are working to ensure they are well prepared to move forward in their settlement process in Year 2.
The second Syrian family sponsored by FUCO was introduced to the congregation on December 11th. Both parents are studying hard to improve their English. They are expecting another child in February and the mother hopes to continue her studies shortly after the baby is born.
We expect FUCO's third sponsored Syrian family to arrive by next summer at the earliest.
In the midst of these difficult times, we are sustained and heartened by practicing our UU principles which support:
• The inherent dignity and worth of every person;
• Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; and
• The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.