June 21, 2017 Update:
On October 4th, “our” family moved into a town house in Cobourg. A moving company was hired to collect the donated furnishings from 4 locations and move them into the multi-storied home on Munroe Street. The Almadanis were helpful throughout the move, happy, and very grateful!
There are currently many advantages for the family to live in our neighboring town. The boys can cycle or walk to school on their own; Ismaiel and Muzina now get to their English classes by bus; grocery shopping is available within walking distance of their home. The family of the interpreter and several other Syrian families also live in Cobourg and friendships have developed. Their daily lives have become much more independent.
In the fall, this committee asked the congregation for donations to purchase tools for Ismaiel who is a carpenter. The very generous amount of $870. was collected! A further $250. will be donated by Home Hardware when Ismaiel is ready. On the experienced advice of AURA, English language learning has been and continues to be the main focus for the entire family, rather than employment. Ismaiel has said that he would like to select appropriate tools when he has a job. We anticipate this will be in the spring.
River of Hope is continuing to support the family by ensuring their medical, dental, educational and financial needs are being met. Regular meetings with an interpreter allow the family to ask questions as they gradually learn about Canadian systems and customs.
On January 1, 2017, an open invitation party was held to introduce the Almadanis to our congregations and friends, as well as to celebrate Ismaiel's birthday. Even though the family was told we would provide the food, Muzina brought her delicious honey cake. We estimated that about a hundred people attended, with many from Port Hope United Church. It was lots of fun!
September 19, 2016 Update:
Good News! Our Syrian family arrived on August 16. After subletting a house in Port Hope for them, River of Hope has now located a house to rent in Cobourg as of October 1, and a one-year lease has been signed. The house is within walking distance of No Frills, which has halal food, and the boys can walk or bike to school. The parents can walk to their English classes at Trinity United Church and take a bus to Fleming College when they are eligible for English classes there.
June 26, 2016 Update:
The River of Hope is very pleased to announce that we have accepted an offer from AURA to sponsor a Syrian family.
Our family has five members all of whom were born in Damascus. The father is age 47 and is a carpenter. His wife is age 39 and is a homemaker. The couple have three sons aged 19, 17 and 9. The elder sons have worked as a waiter and in sales respectively. The family speaks Arabic and is currently resident in Cairo. Cairo has a large refugee population and the services of The United Nations High Commission For Refugees (UNHCR) .
The family has been carefully screened by both United Nations and Canadian government officers. They are designated BVOR (Blended Visa Office Referral) which means they will be eligible for some modest government support. Our group is deeply grateful to be in a position to offer this family new hope, particularly at a time when very few Syrian refugees are available for sponsorship in Canada.
We expect to welcome our family this autumn. Consequently, we are looking in earnest for leads on rental housing. We are seeking a three bedroom house. Please let us know if you have any suggestions.
The River of Hope group would like to express our deep appreciation to everyone who has kept the plight of refugees in your prayers and helped in so many ways to move this ecumenical project forward.
April 2016 Newsletter
February 28, 2016
Two information meetings have been scheduled for anyone interested in volunteering when our refugee family arrives: Tuesday, Mar 22, 7-9 pm, St. John's Parish Hall and Wednesday, Mar 23, 2:30-4:30, Port Hope United Church.
February 14, 2016
River of Hope Refugee Sponsorship can now look at acquiring furnishings for a family of 5 or 6 people - especially bunk beds, dressers, end tables, kitchen supplies, laundry baskets. Sherrylyn Allison has volunteered to look after this, and the cost of a storage unit has been donated. Not knowing the makeup of our family, we are not accepting toys or clothes at this time. If you have a donation, please contact Sherrylyn at 905-885-1950.