Last December we were all excited about the prospect of sponsoring a Syrian family to a new life in Canada. And since the money came together rather quickly and since we were able to find an affordable apartment we were hoping that our Syrian family would arrive soon. But like many, many other groups ready to sponsor we are finding out that the process is slow and we are still waiting.
Most of the slowdown in refugee processing is related to the fact that the government has limited resources to dedicate to a very large national undertaking. However, we recently discovered that our situation was different. The Syrian family that we had been matched with has had difficulty passing all of the required security checks to be eligible to travel to Canada. As we looked into this matter we were disappointed to find out that this kind of security concern is not normal for refugee processing and it could result in a very long delay for the family to be able to immigrate to Canada. In light of this development, the Syrian Settlement Team at Westheights, through the help of Mennonite Central Committee, inquired as to whether Westheights could be matched with another family that was already travel-ready. Fortunately this request was granted. We have been matched with a different Syrian family. It is a family of five with two boys and one girl.
Since this family is travel ready, they should arrive in Canada in the next few weeks. We will keep you appraised of the timing of their arrival and any needs for donations.
I want to acknowledge the amazing team of volunteers that make up our Syrian Settlement Team and the leadership of Tony Fellbaum. This group has done a fantastic job getting things ready and have been patiently waiting so that they can go full speed ahead.
Thanks for your patience.