Adrien Blanchette, one of the founders of the “Musquodoboit Harbour St. Philip Neri Cath. Church & United Church of Canada Refugee Sponsorship Committee,” reports that the Abdurrahman family have been settling in nicely since they arrived in late June from a Syrian refugee camp in Turkey.
“We’re all very happy that there haven’t been too many bumps in the road so far,” said Blanchette. “Salah and Menal are excited about shopping for school clothes and supplies to get little Melak ready to start going to OPA. And like all young parents, they’ve also got mixed feelings about their first child going off to school on her own.”
Blanchette said the sponsorship committee was especially pleased with the work that so many volunteers have put into giving the family a head start in learning English over the last two months.
“Salah will be going into Halifax every day to take English as a Second Language classes this fall through the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS),” Blanchette explained. “But our education team has done a wonderful job this summer. So many people came forward that they’ve been able to have an English class every day for an hour or so right here in the village, at the library or at the HRM office.”
Blanchette said he continues to be amazing at the outpouring of support for the family. “We’re still getting new volunteers. People come up to me and ask if they can take them to the beach, or shopping, or out fishing in a dory,” he said. “We’ve also been getting offers of work, although both the archdiocese and the immigration people have asked to hold off a bit. You can imagine what a daze they might be in sometimes; being here is almost like being dropped on a different planet!”