About the Sponsored Family:
Knox Oakville is sponsoring a family of six Syrian refugees. There’s a dad (age 32), a mom (age 28) and four children: one eight-year-old boy, and three little girls aged seven, five and one. They lived in Turkey for years before they were able to come to Canada and get a new start. As their sponsors, we’ve committed to support them for at least one year.
As a congregation we’re able to privately sponsor refugees through the Presbyterian Church in Canada, which is a Sponsorship Agreement Holder with the Canadian government. And since we’re a registered charity, all donations are eligible for tax receipts.
The Musa family are now comfortably settled into their bright apartment. This move has allowed them increased independence now that they are within walking distance to school, English language classes, daycare and shopping. It has also meant a break from the hundreds of hours of driving by our small dedicated team of drivers. (Thank you, drivers!)
Now that the Musas are physically settled, our attention has been able to shift to helping them more fully integrate into Canadian culture. Isa, Melek and Hilin have adapted well to their new school, where they take part in the breakfast program each day. Little Esinet is thriving in her daycare and the entire family marvels when she speaks to them in English. Emel and Suleyman continue to attend daily ESL classes and Suleyman also works many days.
With their basic needs now being met (shelter, food, medical/dental and education), we on the sponsorship team are now more acutely aware of how much more is involved in helping this family to truly “settle”. We are conscious of the emotional burden the Musas carry as a result of being displaced, having to leave their war-torn homeland, and being separated from family and friends, many of whom continue to live in refugee camps with limited hope for resettlement. We continue to attend meetings with the Halton Multicultural Centre in an attempt to learn how best support the Musas and problem solve anticipated and unanticipated issues as they arise. It has been an interesting journey!
We would once again like to express our gratitude to the many individuals and organizations who have so generously offered their time, expertise and resources.
A Few Thank Yous
Our refugee sponsorship efforts have been supported by very generous donations from both individuals and companies. Some have asked to remain anonymous, and they have our sincere thanks.
Thank you as well to the following businesses and families. They have made substantial donations and we thought the least we could do is thank them publicly. Thank you!
Wayland Chau and Jasmine Sweatman and Family
And all the members of our Knox family who have contributed to this effort!