By Kim Deighton

Last August saw the arrival of our privately-sponsored refugee family, a young Eritrean mother and her 5-year-old son. We are happy to report that the family is transitioning very well into their new Canadian home and culture – in part, thanks to support from our caring Centennial community.

Winter arrived with snow and tobogganing, which thrilled the youngster but his disabled mother is very grateful for the return of spring. An electric wheelchair opened up a world of mobility for her but was still no match for our snowy and icy sidewalks.

Now, nine months after their arrival, how have things changed? What began as a whirlwind of settlement activities has eased into a very manageable amount of occasional support. Mother and son, once strangers to us, have become our friends. After spending three months sharing a group member’s home, they are now thriving in their own apartment. The little boy easily made the transition to kindergarten in his new school and is picking up English like a sponge. We are very proud of his mother’s progress as well. She is one of three students in her English class of 20 who progressed last month to the next level. There are still challenges ahead but great progress has been made!

What does the future hold for our Port Union Cares sponsorship group? We are about to undertake the co-sponsorship of a third family. This time a single mother from Afghanistan along with her two children, aged 9 and 18, who are due to arrive soon. Stay tuned for updates!