​News from the Interchurch Refugee Group (IRG)

The Syrian family that arrived February 2016, the Al Hariri family, is settled nicely into their new home and new routines.  The parents and children all began school the week of March 7. Abdulrahman and Nermen attend adult ESL classes at St Joseph Adult High School in Vanier, while Mohanad attends an onsite ESL Childcare program.  The three older children, Jamal, Jana, and Hasan attend school at Robert Hopkins.  Thanks to the generosity of our supporting congregations, the family has all the furniture and household goods they need at this time.  You may wish to direct any further donations of furniture and household goods to Helping with Furniture, a local charity that is meeting the needs of 9 refugee families per week. The best way to reach HWF is to go to their website, www.helpingwithfurniture.org/contact. On the contact page, you can leave your name, email address and a message.

A Note of Gratitude – February 28, 2017 the Interchurch Refugee Group completed the 1-year sponsorship of a Syrian family of 6. Our congregation played an integral role in supporting this family, and Abdulrahman, the father of the family, asked for the opportunity to express his appreciation. Here are his words of thanks:  
“After leaving my country of origin and settling in another country for three years, I was very worried about my children’s future. I finally felt that doors of hope started to open for me and my family when Canadians sponsored us. In Ottawa, we started a brand new life with brand new hopes when we met our group members for the first time. They helped us from the first step. They helped us settle and bring back smiles to our children, gave us strength and helped us plan our children’s future. It’s very hard to find words to express our appreciation. My family and I would like to thank the group members and volunteers from the bottom of our hearts for their precious help. Thank you very much.”​