BFCRC REFUGEE SPONSORSHIP SUMMER 2017 UPDATE
One year ago, in late May 2016, BFCRC, along with our friends at Calvin CRC, with support from World Renew in Burlington, welcomed a lovely Sudanese couple (via Cairo), Abbas & Madina, under a full sponsorship agreement (with federal government assistance). It is hard to believe that we are already at one year! This marks the end of our formal financial assistance commitment, although we continue to support them in transition with their housing expenses and day to day learning experiences.
During the past year, our friendships have grown and will continue to grow going forward. Since arriving in Canada, Abbas and Madina have had many wonderful experiences, including, picnics at Mooney’s Bay, going to a Sens game, visiting a maple syrup farm, attending Canada Day celebrations in downtown Ottawa and many visits with families and new friends. Abbas and a friend enjoyed a trip to a farm out of town; more recently, Abbas and some friends visited Waterloo.
During the past year, Abbas and Madina have been working hard at learning more English and going to school daily to improve language, math and computer skills. They will continue this learning in the next months. They have also had to navigate and learn the bus system (including loading Presto passes!); learn how to bank in Canada, which means using a debit card and online banking; and learn to use computers to do schoolwork, write resumes and access social media to keep in touch with family and friends across the world.
To mark one year in Canada, the sponsorship team had a pizza party for Abbas and Madina. This was held after sundown as Abbas and Madina were observing Ramadan at that time. Abbas & Madina love Canada, and continuously thank us for our friendship and support, but do miss loved ones back home and are very concerned about the health of family and ongoing violence in Darfur.
Immediate challenges include finding employment and a new affordable apartment. Your prayers are welcomed and appreciated in this regard. If you know of opportunities in these areas such as an affordable 1-bedroom apartment close to bus accessibility, or an entry-level, light-duty employment opportunity (part-time or full-time) or ‘nursing type’ care or clerical or service type work, please feel free to contact a member of the BFCRC refugee team (Nikki Terry, Allison Schenk, Julia Verbrugge, Steve Jaspers-Fayer, Harry Mulder).