The Welcome Project

We are proud to announce that the Wilkinson-St. David’s Community Sponsorship group has been actively helping a Syrian Refugee family through the Welcome Project.

KhalafsThousands of Syrian Refugees arrived in Canada at the beginning of this year. Many of those families need help with basic needs and settling into their new home. We were lucky enough to have been matched with a government sponsored Syrian Refugee family of six on Tuesday, April 12th. The  Khalaf family consists of two parents and their four kids ranging in age from 15 to 21.

Though they are government sponsored, they have needed our help to settle in here in Toronto. They arrived in Canada the end of Feb., but had no permanent place of residence until April 12th. So, the members of our group started a volunteer schedule to help them adjust to life in Canada. As is the case with most Syrian Refugees, they lost their home and all of their possessions. We’ve been coordinating lists of items needed for people to donate their lightly used things.  The enthusiasm and response of our community has been wonderful.

To-date, we have helped them to enroll in ESL classes, locate a local doctor to help them with medical issues, find translators, make dental appointments through public health, and visit local food banks and settlement services in the area. We’ve been accompanying them to the library to access Arabic and Kurdish reading material and we have been bringing them food and household donations from our community on a daily basis. Their house is finally starting to look and feel like a home due in part to all of our members’ generous donations.

We have been sending out weekly updates to all of our volunteers and members of our sponsorship group to keep everyone in the loop. Since it may be quite some time before our own Syrian family arrives here in Canada, it’s been a great learning experience to find out what our family may need once they come.

The Khalaf’s are such a lovely family and are thankful for all of our support.

We continue to visit them daily with our Wilkinson-St. David’s Sponsorship group volunteers to help them with their basic needs as well as to extend our friendship.  The family speaks Kurdish and Arabic, but fortunately for us, their youngest daughter speaks enough English that she can translate for us.

If you would like to volunteer, donate, or be part of our distribution list for updates on the family, please email Lisa Munro at: lisa.munro@tdsb.on.ca.

For more information about The Welcome Project, visit their website at: http://www.welcomeproject.ca/.

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