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.
A December Update:
The Musa family are now comfortably settled into their bright apartment on Queen Mary Drive. 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. Mom and dad, Emel and Suleyman, will participate in their first parent teacher interviews and seem genuinely pleased with their children’s progress. 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 are now looking for opportunities for the Musas to participate more fully in the community, to interact socially, and to practice their English. Please let us know if you have any ideas or thoughts in this regard. And as always, we encourage you to let us know if you would like to become part of our team or volunteer in any way to help this family.
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.
We wish you and your families the peace of this Christmas season.
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!