The first wave of Syrian refugees has already started to trickle into Canada. The government has pledged to bring 25 000 Syrians to this country. Many of them will call Toronto and Hamilton home. But at least 150 will resettle in the Niagara region in the new year.
Sabah Youkanna is a Syrian refugee. She came to Canada about a year ago and settled in St.Catharines.
She was privately sponsored by her brother and and now has her own home. She spends a lot of time at the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre learning to speak english.
The centre is one of the first stops for every Syrian refugee coming to Niagara.
“We have been preparing for this for a long time. Excited about starting their settlement process.”
Many Syrian refugees who move here to Canada don’t want to talk about the conditions back home because there could be serious repercussions back home for family members still living there. Instead many choose to talk about their new life here in Canada.
Sabah says now that she is in Canada she is happy and everything is good.
There has been outpouring of support for Syrian refugees from Niagara residents, who with the help of the mennonite central committee raised $25 000. The region matched that amount bringing the total to $50 000.
The money is going to be used to pay for housing.
Two Niagara-on-the-lake churches are also planning to sponsor two Syrian families in 2016.
The Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre offers information on how community members can help Syrian refugees moving to the region.