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New County group will sponsor 15-member Syrian family

Carlyn Moulton

Carlyn Moulton

Efforts are under way by a new County group to bring a family of 15 Syrian refugees to the area.

About 75 interested citizens attended a meeting at the Bloomfield Town Hall organized by Carlyn Moulton.

“I am completely overwhelmed, and gobsmacked, by all the people coming forward,” she said. “About three weeks ago I posted a little post on Facebook saying I couldn’t stand reading the news anymore and thought a few friends might come out and sponsor a Syrian family. One thing has lead to another and there’s another 100 people who have said they’re interested in being apart of what we’re doing tonight.”

What started as an information meeting ended with the formation of the ‘Prince Edward County Syrian Refugee Fund’ (PECSRF) six sub-committees, a website at pecsyria.org and pledges of more than $40,000. The government will contribute $22,000. Among attendees were representatives from many of the County’s churches – some able to share background information on how best to help refugees.

Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, 11 million Syrians have been displaced, or about half of the entire country. Four million of them have fled across Syria’s borders, and 75 per cent are women and children.

The group is partnering with Lifeline Syria, Ryerson and the Christie Refugee SAH to sponsor the 15-member family. They are expected to arrive in four to eight weeks. Partnering means immediate help, whereas other routes could take one to two years for a family to arrive. Ryerson University’s assistance includes handling the paperwork and issuing receipts and the monthly payments.

Among discussion is whether this family would be better off living in Belleville where services they need are within easy reach – including the school for the deaf and English as a Second Language schools. Housing is also cheaper and Belleville also has a mosque.

“This family is complicated,” said Moulton. “There’s 15 of them. The mother is pregnant with the baby due at the end of Novemeber. The 45-year-old father is a former grocery store owner. The 71-year-old widowed grandmother has knee pain, back pain, diabetes and an ulcer. She needs a wheelchair.”

The sons are 18, 17, 14, 8 (twins) and 2. The daughters are 15, 13, 10 and 9 (twins), plus the baby. Their levels of education, she noted, are low as the family has been living in a refugee camp for the past six years.

“With this outpouring of help I think we are going to be able to sponsor more than one family,” said Moulton, noting she has been informed about another group of 12 farmers that may do better in a rural area.

The next meeting is set for Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Wellington United Church hall. A representative from Lifeline Syria is expected to attend.at 7p.m.

PECsyria

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  1. Sue3 says:

    There is an article on the CBC website today: http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/refugees-austria-1.3235194
    Have a look at the second photo.
    Then take a look at the comments section – some interesting takes on the situation.
    Canada needs to be VERY cautious.

  2. Lena says:

    Elsie: I guess you have not been paying attention to what Mr Harper has done to tarnish our reputation as a peacekeeper that you and I were so proud of. We are peacekeepers no more. We send jets to drop bombs. Humanitarian aid is tied to allowing Canadian corporations to exploit natural resources. Medical aid is only allowed if women are not allowed abortions, even in war torn countries or those African countries where it is believed a virgin’s blood will cure aids and girls 8 years and younger are raped, their blood collected and sold. Did you know that serval years back the commonwealth held a vote to kick us out because of Harper’s actions on the world stage? Sadly, Canada is no longer respected in the world. There was an actual case of a traveller sporting a Canadian flag who was spat on because of our new foreign policies.

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