Marianne Wilkinson

Councillor, Kanata North

October 15 Syrian Refugees Kanata North Meeting

When: Thursday, October 15 7pm
Where: Beaverbrook Library, 2500 Campeau Drive (Mlacak Centre)

Kanata residents have told me they want to help the refugees from Syria who are fleeing to Europe, just as they reached out to help the Vietnamese Boat People more than 30 years ago.  I am attending the Mayor’s Forum on Syrian Refugees on October 1st to get information on how we can help.

I will be hosting the meeting on October 15th, along with representative from groups already seeking to help, and invite any residents interested to attend to learn more and see how you can help provide strong community support for families that may come here.

I have heard that several Syrian families with young children have been cleared to come to Canada. To support a family, you have to have $5,000 on hand for initial costs and raise an additional $8-10,000 within 10 months.  We need community support to find housing and to assist the family in adjusting to a new life in Canada.  Although I’m aware of 7 churches in our area with refugee committees and have invited them to the meeting, this event is for the broader community since we can all work together to support this humanitarian cause.

My own church’s refugee committee has raised the first $5,000, but we need community support to be successful. Please come meet those who know how to sponsor a family and join the experienced refugee groups as community partners, to help make these new Canadians feel at home.  Most Syrian refugees are well educated and are motivated to find a safe place for their families.  Canada is home to people from many parts of the world, which has enriched our nation, and these new neighbours will do the same.

If you cannot attend and wish to help, please send me an email and I’ll connect you with one of the groups.  We also need volunteers who speak Arabic, so please let me know if you can help in that way. Together we can make a difference for many families who need our help.

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