Sponsored Refugee Family
Update #4 Feb 2017
Our sponsored family has now been in Canada for about 8 months and is doing quite well. Chantale (mom) has been attending ESL at St. Louis school. Son Roland is just completing the courses he has taken at St. Louis school. He has been accepted into WLU’s Financial Math program and is waiting to hear from UW and McMasterregarding the other programs to which he has applied. Daughter Yolande has completed grade 11 and is working on getting the required grade 12 academic credits so that she can apply for university this fall. Niece Abigaele and nephew Gradie have been getting ESL help as well as taking regular high school courses and are also doing quite well. They will both continue at Eastwood Collegiate next year.
As our neighbourhood’s financial commitment to the family will end in July, all 5 family members are looking for work. Chantale would like to get a permanent, full time job. Roland is available for full time work, starting now, through to the end of the summer. Ideally, he would like to continue with part time work while he pursues his university studies, but we will consider that issue in September. Yolande, Abigaele and Gradie are looking for full time summer work, for the months of July and August.
We are hoping that some of our neighbours might have leads on employment opportunities for the family. They live just behind Fairview Mall in Kitchener, but can commute by bus as needed.
I continue to be impressed by the family’s work ethic, ambition and desire to make a success of their transition from their past, very harsh life as refugees in Uganda to contributing members of Canadian society. Please feel free to contact me or any of the other members of the sponsorship committee if you have any questions or suggestions for employment. Our email addresses are below.
Thank you for your continued support.
Chair, Beechwood Park Refugee Group
Update #3 Fall 2016
UPDATE ON THE REFUGEE FAMILY OUR NEIGHBOURHOOD HAS SPONSORED
After arriving from Uganda in early July, Chantale, Roland, Yolande, Abigaele and Gradie stayed for about 6 weeks in the UW Columbia Lake townhouse complex. Abigaele and Yolande learned to ride bicycles (Gradie and Roland were already able riders). The BPHA very generously donated a membership for the family, so all 5 took swimming lessons at the pool and some of them tried their hand at some tennis. The family came to several BPHA Friday night bbq’s at the pool, where they were able to meet many of our local residents.
In the middle of August they moved to their more permanent home, an apartment near Fairview Mall. This location was chosen because of special programs available for them at Eastwood Collegiate Institute and at the Kingsdale Community Centre on Wilson Avenue. Their building has a pool and basketball court and is, of course, quite close to shopping and the bus hub at Fairview Mall. It is a very multicultural area of town.
All 5 are now in school. Chantale is taking ESL and Roland is brushing up on some high school credits, both at St Louis Adult Learning Centre in downtown Kitchener. Yolande, Abigaele and Gradie are attending Eastwood Collegiate. Roland and Yolande both have good high school educations from Uganda and are looking forward to applying to university this winter.
The family has gotten connected with a church in Kitchener and has become quite involved there. Various family members have gone on outings with some of our sponsoring group members to Toronto FC soccer games and a Waterloo Siskin hockey game, among others. Roland participated in the Oktoberfest 5k Fun Run, where we discovered that he is a fast runner – he won his age group and came in 4th overall. And they’ve enjoyed their first traditional Canadian Thanksgiving dinner.
Winter is fast approaching, and will certainly be a shock to the system, but we hope to get some of the family out on the ice for some skating or into the woods for some cross country skiing. All in all, the family has settled in quite well. No doubt there will be some hurdles to overcome, and we’ll deal with those as they arise.
Many thanks to the BPHA Wednesday market for many donations of fruits and vegetables, and to everyone who has supported the family in any way.
Dave Hare, Chair, Beechwood Park Refugee Group
Our sponsored family has arrived and are settled into a UW townhouse for the next 6 weeks or so. Then they will be moving to an apartment. So far, they’ve been busy learning about Waterloo and Canada; getting a library card; doing some shopping; connecting with a church. Soon they will be getting assessed for school programs, having their teeth checked, getting health cards, … . They’ve also signed up for swimming lessons at the BPHA pool – none of them can swim, yet, but they are all very keen to learn. Busy times!
The family plans to come to the BPHA BBQ at the pool on July 22, which will give everyone a chance to meet them.
To finish furnishing the apartment they will be moving to in August we are still in need of a few items:
- 1 single bed box spring and frame
- 3 single bed mattresses
- 4 single bed mattress covers
- 1 double bed mattress cover
- 2 upright dressers (the kind with a vertical stack of drawers – space will be a bit tight, so the horizontal style probably won’t work)
We would also like to get a woman’s bike – we have one and could use another. We’re well set for men’s bikes.
One luxury item which would be much appreciated is a DVD player. We have a TV for them, but they will not have cable, so having a DVD player would be nice.
As always, thanks very much for everyone’s generosity.
Chair, Beechwood Park Refugee Group
Subject: They're on their way!
Our refugee family will be arriving on July 7 (barring any last minute changes, of course). They are coming from Uganda, where they’ve been for quite some time, having fled the Congo as refugees.
For the rest of the summer they will be staying in one of the UW townhouses at Columbia Lake. By September they should be able to move into a more permanent home. The next few months will be a period of considerable adjustment, as they settle into life in Canada. At least they aren’t arriving in the middle of winter!
Thanks to the generosity of all of our neighbours, we are well stocked with supplies and furnishings for their new home. Any extras are being donated on to another refugee sponsorship group or to local charities.
Again, many thanks for all your support.
Beechwood Park Refugee Group