On Nov. 23, 2016 we reported that the Fort St. James Syrian Refugee Group had held a town hall meeting to discuss the status of their application to sponsor a Syrian refugee family.
They had been fund raising since early 2016 as their response to this staggering humanitarian crisis. As of July 2016 fully one had of Syria’s population had either been killed or forced to leave their homes with over 5 million Syrians registered with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.
In November, due to pause in the processing of Syrian refugees, the Fort St. James group decided to apply to sponsor a family from anywhere in the world. As Louise Evans-Salt said at the time, “A refugee is a refugee and at the end of the day we are helping a family in need.”
On Feb. 27 the group was delighted to hear that the sponsoring agency they were working with, The Mennonite central Committee, would be receiving a list the next day.
On Feb. 28 they got the welcome and exciting news that they had been matched not only with a refugee family, but a Syrian family!
An emergency meeting was called that same evening to present the profile of the family, a couple with three elementary school aged children, to the group.
The long awaited profile was unanimously and with much emotion approved. One member of the group said she had had butterflies in her stomach all day, another said she had ears when she heard the news, a third said “I love them already!”
The application was approved by the Canadian government a few days ago and the group is now following up on the plans that have been in the making since last spring.
With much excitement in the air, the group awaits their newcomer family in four to 12 weeks and hopes to continue fund-raising with the goal of sponsoring a second family in the future.