Wolfville Refugee Support Network Gears Up

Kate Sircom

Over the past three years, Wolfville has welcomed three families from Syria: the Tahina Family, the Ali Family, and the Osman-Rustum family. All of them are successfully contributing to our local economy, with family members in school, post-secondary education, or in the workforce. Other local communities, including Kentville, New Minas, Port Williams, Berwick, Canning, and Aldershot-Centreville, have also successfully sponsored families, and there is now a growing Syrian community in the Valley. Our thanks go out to the many volunteers—fundraisers, drivers, teachers, translators and others—who have made this possible.

Meanwhile, war rages on in Syria, and family members who have fled to neighbouring countries face insecurity, persecution and an uncertain future. Many local communities are now sponsoring a second wave of refugees, and Wolfville is no different. The Wolfville Refugee Support Network is sponsoring the son and brother of the Osman-Rustum family to come to Canada. His name is Muhammed and he will be coming with his wife, Ele, and baby son Dibu. Muhammed and Ele have been living a precarious life in Turkey. Muhammed has been attacked and robbed going in and out of his apartment and the family has no chance to ever put down roots, get higher education, or hold anything more than menial jobs. This is a private sponsorship, which means we need to raise all the money needed to furnish an apartment and pay all living expenses through the family’s first year in Canada. Our fundraising goal for this phase of our journey is $35,000.

The Wolfville Refugee Support Network has embarked on a fundraising campaign for the spring of 2021. On Sunday, May 2, the Noodle Guy in Port Williams is donating the proceeds of his whole day to this cause. Called Food, Music and Friendship, the event will feature local food and drink, accompanied by local musicians. On Saturday, June 5, local photographer Michelle Coleman is having an outdoor family photo shoot, with all proceeds donated to the group.

For more information, or to donate, visit our Facebook Page: Wolfville Refugee Support Network, send a cheque to the Wolfville Baptist Church, 487 Main, B4P 1E3 with “Refugee Support” written on the subject line, or send an e-transfer to wolfvillersn@gmail.com