Wow! Just a little over a month since Chady and his family arrived and so much has been done thanks to the Dugas family and Melad and his family.
Melad is a newcomer to Canada himself. He has been here for three years, speaks Arabic and has been helping other newcomers to settle in the Rexdale area. He began working with Odyssey to Canada as an interpreter – making phone calls to the Almanaked family when they were still in Lebanon and he worked hard with Gill & Andre to find accommodations for the family before they arrived. Since the family’s arrival Melad and his wife Azza have been there every day to ensure that the family understood the situation and helped to make them feel welcome. Melad and his family quickly bonded with the family and have become friends and a tremendous support – they live within a five-minute walk of each other and visit frequently.
Chady, Melad (in white) and the boys playing soccer at the local park
As for the Settlement Process, the family has settled into their three-bedroom apartment in Etobicoke; they have completed all the necessary documentation for permanent residency, and have completed all the required settlement process steps – too numerous to list here. They have all had medical exams, vaccinations; and necessary counseling. The boys are just completing a two-week summer camp which has really helped them with English and making friends in the area and have been registered for school in September.
Chady and Zeinab have been enrolled in ESL, which unfortunately does not start until September. In the meantime, I have put some ESL programs onto the computer for them and they are working at picking up a few sentences. It is all going well. If you have any ideas for programs that would help, I would be happy to hear from you.
I sent out a notice about the possibility of holding a picnic to introduce the family to supporters but I only heard back from a couple of people. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the timing is the best – many are away or up at their cottage so I may try again in September. Any ideas would be more than happy to consider.
I want to send out a huge thank you once again to all who have supported us – we could not have done it without you. We will continue to work with the family to ensure their smooth integration into the community.