Thank you to all of you who are following along with Refugees Belong and our collective goal of sponsoring a Syrian refugee family to come to Canada.
We have news!
First, I will try to explain the complicated story of our long wait and explain why we will not be sponsoring the Al Abbass family that we were assigned in January of 2016.
When we first made contact with the Al Abbass family 11 months ago, their primary concern in regards to coming to Canada was that they be able to settle near their extended family who were also on waitlists to immigrate here. We contacted the Immigration on their behalf and made sure that the families were all linked together and would all come to Halifax. The Al Abbass family sponsored by Refugees Belong, and their brother and sister’s families would come as Government Assisted Refugees.
But, rarely does immigrating go according to plan! The Al Abbass family was held up in their approval process and their extended family was not. Through an oversight in the system that we do not understand, the sister’s family was sent to Edmonton. In order to fix this the Canadian government agreed to sponsor the Al Abbass family and settle them in Edmonton as well, asking Refugees Belong to take on the sponsorship of another family.
We quickly agreed and will now be bringing Safwan and Khansaa Akil to Halifax, along with their two daughters, Asil (7) and Marie (2).
This week we got a notice saying they will arrive between December 20, 2016 and January 20, 2017. It is really happening!!!
Their apartment, which we have had ready for the last 11 months has been subleased to cover the costs of keeping it and will be vacant again as of Dec 12. Perfect timing.
Aside from giving the apartment a clean, getting in fresh food and finding some girls’ clothing and a car seat, we feel very ready to welcome this family.
But as we have said all along. We cannot welcome this family alone. We want to welcome them to a community as a community. Stay tuned for a meet and greet where we will host an event for everyone to meet this new family. Also, please contact us if you would like to volunteer in any way in settling this family in their new home, community and country.