Saturday 9 December 2017

The Committee Wraps Up

In January of 2016, 20 members of St Dominic’s Parish formed a committee to sponsor a refugee family.  With the blessing of our pastor we applied through the Diocese of Hamilton Ontario.  Work began immediately to arrange the thousands of details.  Our family arrived August 25th, 2016 and was greeted with joy at the airport!

Welcome home!
You, the members of the parish, also pitched in with enthusiasm.  First you contributed money for the support of the family and we reached, then exceeded, our goal.  Second came the furnishing of their apartment and you provided chairs, dressers, tables, kitchen supplies to give them the best start.  It was like you were helping your young adult children get started in life. 

New Beginnings

In the fall of 2017, you once again pitched in with gifts for the baby that was on his way.  Nour and Anwar received a stroller, rocking chair, clothing, and all the baby supplies they needed.  Baby Ahmed will use every diaper and outfit.

Not all support is tangible.  The members of the committee have driven them to training, ESL, work, dental and medical appointments.  As the couple grew in their confidence, they were taught to use the buses to get around and expand their independence.  Some members of the committee were fluent in Arabic and volunteered to translate when other committee members provided financial coaching or cultural information.  Other members took on English as a Second Language duties and gave them one-on-one instruction to grow their ability to communicate in Canada. 

A Grand Day on the Grand River
And we had fun!  On hikes, visiting the Aga Khan museum, going to Niagara Falls, Canada Day fireworks at Bronte Harbour, and even canoeing on the Grand River. 

Through all of the ups and downs, we formed friendships with the family and among the committee. Our sponsorship commitment will end January 1, 2018. Anwar and Nour have a good footing in their new life, friends in the building they live in, and friendships with the members of the committee.  Those relationships will continue as friendships do.

Every member of our Committee contributed according to their talents and time and treasure. It was a great experience for Father Ranjan, Brian, Helen, Norm, Nerina, Liz, Maury, Georgina, Bill, Sharon, Nayer, Rudy, Genevieve, Marg, Sybil, Charmaine, Julia, Sid, Connie, Theresa, Karen.  Working with this group of dedicated people, I understood, even more, the meaning of ‘the Kingdom of God is among you.”

Thank you St. Dominic’s Parish for your assistance.  Thank you Fr. Ranjan for supporting this effort. Thank you, Anwar and Nour for beginning your new life, with us. 


Tuesday 5 December 2017

Welcome to a new Canadian baby!

We have joyful news to share!  Anwar and Nour are the proud parents of a beautiful baby boy!

Ahmed was born in November and mother and child (and father!) are doing well.  He is a blessing to his parents and to us all. 

The members of St. Dominic Parish were generous with their treasure and provided the young family with many gifts, supplies and necessities for the baby.  He is well positioned to begin his life as a Canadian. 

Thursday 6 July 2017

The Thirteenth Month

The St. Dominic's Refugee Committee has been working with Nour and Anwar since August 2016.  Our sponsorship was for a year so we are planning a good transition for them after what we call 'the 13th month'.   Working with the diocese of Hamilton, we are ensuring they are ready: housing, budget, work and education.

We want them to be successful!

Friendships have grown between team members and our family.  Those friendships will continue to the degree that everyone wants them too. 

Anwar has a full time job and continues to attend English as a Second Language.  He has really done well with his new language.  Nour also attends classes and continues to grow her skills.  Two committee members assist them during the week with personal language coaching.  

After reviewing the rental market, it has been decided that their present apartment is their best option for the foreseeable future.  They have developed friendships and supportive relationships with others in the building.  Everyone needs a social network. 

Nour and Anwar endured the Canadian winter - now they can enjoy a Canadian Summer!