Palestinian refugees brought to Ladysmith have been busy

Ladysmith First United Church has sponsored a Palestinian family, who arrived in late December.

Editor:

Re: Palestinian refugee sponsorship

At the beginning of August, Ladysmith First United Church was challenged to consider sponsoring a Palestinian family from the El Hol Refugee Camp in northern Syria.

The prospect was daunting, the need too great to ignore. Within weeks, it became clear that the community, including Cedar and Chemainus, was prepared to offer its whole-hearted support.

Individuals, churches and service groups were quick to donate funds and offer household goods.

A small crowd gathered to meet the ferry and welcome our family to the Island on Dec. 22.

Their first weeks have been busy ones. They have reunited with family and friends sponsored by other Island communities. They have begun English classes, applied for health care coverage and social insurance numbers, opened a bank account and learned to use city transit, bank machines, apartment intercoms, infant car seats and other things we take for granted.

Sponsorship is a one-year commitment. The goal for the next 11 months is to support mother, father and infant son as they strive to become functionally literate in English and able to support themselves financially in their new home.

Judy Wilson

on behalf of Ladysmith Refugee Sponsorship Group