Welcome to Canada – Syrian Refugees

The number of Syrian refugees in Canada continues to climb [ past the proposed 25,000 originally promised].  This blog post is an update and a  small way to put a human face on all the reports and news bulletins you have heard/viewed about the ongoing conflict in Syria.

conflicr in syria.png        [from: Google images]

The Immigrant Services Society of BC [ISSBC]  along with many other organizations and individuals have been working  to support our soon-to-be Canadian citizens. In particular, check out the following:

ISSBC: Our Work with Refugees

new to  canada.png [from:ISS BC website]

Here you can browse data, read newsletters or event bulletins that focus on refugee learners. Hopefully you can make the time to watch this video of their efforts. It features Mohammed Alsaleh, who was born in Hasakeh, Syria. While enjoying life pursuing a degree in medicine, he was detained and tortured. Now he lives in Vancouver and works with ISS to help Syrian Refugees. This is the 20-minute video illustrating his efforts: Welcome to Canada.

Another aspect of the ISS website includes #WhoWeARE: Syrian Refugee Youth Consultation. Close to 60 Syrian refugee youth got together to share experiences of their first 8 months in Canada and make recommendations on settlement needs in BC.

Then there is the Refugee Readiness Hub, a weekly newsletter focussed on Syrian refugees in particular.

And, finally, a recent story in the Vancouver Sun that amply illustrates the devastating effect of this conflict on those who arguably derserve it the least – the children.[Not that anyone deserves war!!] A family from Syria was sponsored by a group  living in Queen Charlotte City,  Haida Gwaii. A little girl from that family will have permanent scars to remind her of the early years of her life in Syria.

Douaa.png           [from Vancouver Sun article: Haida Gwaii-based Syrian family needs help travelling for surgeries]

Read their story here.

No child should have to bear those kinds of scars. Her father’s first response to arriving safely with his family was ‘I know I am in paradise,’. It is a reminder of how lucky we are here in Canada.