Update on our Newcomer Family

Jul 26, 2017 by

It is time for an update for our Newcomer family.  As of July 19, they have been in Canada for one year. .

In early July Gary and Al met with Ahmad and Randa to explain the change from being fully sponsored by us.  Our sponsorship obligations end as of July 31.  They will then begin receiving Ontario Works Benefits as well as federal and provincial Child Care Benefits.  Al has applied on their behalf for Ontario Works, and we can expect that this week they will have an appointment with a Case Manager.  Their income will be close to what they have been receiving from us.  We were able to reassure them that our friendly, moral care will continue.  We still have a substantial amount of funds in the refugee account, so if they find themselves in financial difficulty we can provide some emergency financial support.

At the beginning of July, in preparation for Ahmad becoming more independent, Walter and Al met with Ahmad and Randa and Jack, the superintendent at their apartment building.  Randa and Ahmad signed their names to the lease.  They will begin paying rent on their own beginning August 1.  In February Al and Walter will remove their names from the lease and the family will be fully responsible for their living arrangements.  As well, they have begun paying for their own phone service.

Ahmad has been getting occasional work in concrete construction for acquaintances, and in the past few days has begun full day, part time work with a landscaping contractor in St. Catharines.  This involves painting, garden design and concrete construction of infrastructure.  This is a good prospect for him.   Not only is he getting valuable experience in Canadian construction, but he is earning $20 an hour.  In September, the contractor will be working at six properties in Niagara Falls.  This will mean full time work for Ahmad.  As well, the contractor has work through the winter, so the work is not just seasonal.

Heather met Randa and the children by chance at the local library where they were attending a reading group.  The boys are enjoying their summer vacation.  In September they will return to school, Saleh in Grade 2 and Ibrahim in K2.  Although the regular English classes for Randa and Ahmad have closed, they both continue with evening classes in English.

It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by.  It is gratifying to see how much progress they have made in such a short time; more than we could have expected, all as a result of their drive and motivation.  We are truly blessed in this sponsorship.

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