Cathedral Refugee Committee
October 2017 Update
“We are happy here and feel very safe.”, that is how Mohammad and Tasneem responded when asked how they are enjoying Nelson. They feel as though Nelson is now their home.
Msatat Family Update
The Msatat family are making great strides in becoming settled and comfortable in Nelson. Mohammad continues to work at the Kootenay Co-op where his duties include doing maintenance and custodial work in and around the store. He is currently looking for a second job to supplement the family’s income. Recently Mohammad has been taking driving lessons and hopes to attain his ‘N’ driver status. In anticipation of securing his driver’s license the family has purchased a second hand car. This will provide greater independence for the family’s transportation needs.
Mohammad and Tasneem continue to receive English language lessons on weekends and the tutors from the CRC are available at the Msatat’s request to provide additional support with their English lessons. Jameel is now in Grade 1 and Leen is in Kindergarten. They too are receiving additional support at school with their English. While both started at South Nelson Elementary School, they will be soon transferring to Rosemont Elementary School.
The family will be moving on October 31 from their Richards St. rental to a rental in Rosemont. This will result in Jameel and Leen moving schools. The new rental through Nelson Cares is very close to Rosemont Elementary School and will make it more convenient for Tasneem to walk the children to and from school.
Cathedral Refugee Committee Update
While continuing to support the Msatat family with securing new rental accommodations, driving lessons and other day to day activities the CRC has also been meeting to consider future activities and possible sponsorships.
Currently the CRC has $18,000 in its account and a number of refugee sponsorship options are being considered to make use of these funds. There has been ongoing discussion around sponsoring Tasneem’s mother and brother as refugees. Both are currently living in Turkey. However, at this time that may not be possible as neither are registered with the UN as refugees. Another consideration may be to bring them over for a visit with Tasneem and family. The Committee is looking into the steps necessary for them to apply for a visitor’s visa which would allow limited entry into Canada.
A second option being investigated is sponsoring Mohammad’s brother and sister-in-law. Both are currently in Turkey and expecting their first child. They have expressed interest in coming to Canada as permanent residents. The Committee has been working with Mohammad in securing details and information about his brother and sister-in-law and their status as refugees.
As always, both of these initiatives involve and are dependent on the cooperation of federal government departments and the process is not expeditious. The Committee will continue to communicate with the government and provide all necessary information to assist in the process.