How Canadians can help in the global refugee crisis
By Joanne Beach
“When the war started, it was hard for us – but God gave us strength and support.” Roula Saloum – Syrian-Canadian
Roula and Nidal Saloum escaped the violent Civil War in Syria and found safety in Canada in November, 2015. With their 2 daughters Melina and Pamela, the family were welcomed with open arms by a team from Ancaster Village Church who helped the Saloum’s navigate their new life in Canada.
A Context viewer, moved with compassion, had generously provided the funds for a one-year settlement through Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees program (PSR).
Once their daughters were settled in school and daycare, Roula and Nidal prioritized ESL classes, advancing steadily through the levels as they also spent much time in conversational English with the settlement team outside of class.
Four years later, Roula has completed further education and is working full-time as a dental hygienist. Nidal recently reduced his full-time position as a regional sales rep with a potato chip company in order to complete a physiotherapy training program – a career he had trained for in Syria.
The family now officially call Canada, “home,” and on January 7, 2020 the Saloum’s were sworn in as Canadian citizens; a thrilling moment for them – watch Context’s show for an update.
Nidal’s brother and family, along with his cousin are also settling in well as they arrived in Canada over the last few years.
The Saloum story is repeated time and time again throughout Canada as successful re-settlements have resulted in families experiencing a hopeful restart to life.
But there is still so much need as the numbers of refugees continue to escalate globally. The opportunities continue to exist for local churches and community groups to engage in sponsorship through the PSR program. Participation in that program could provide a new life for those stalled on the refugee highway.
For more information on how you can be part of sponsoring one of the 70 million looking for a permanent home, contact our partners at: [email protected].