New ar­rivals feel­ing wel­come in Sackville

Sackville Tribune - - EXTRAS -

STAFF RE­PORTER Ngoma, a dis­trict of Rwanda. But soon after ar­riv­ing there, their mother was poi­soned (an act they be­lieve to have also been com­mit­ted by mil­i­tants). Scared to stay there and be killed them­selves, they snuck out of Ngoma in the mid­dle of the night, travelling into the woods to get away. Later com­ing across a woods­man, they asked him for a ride and he drove them as far as Nairobi be­fore drop­ping them off. When the two be­gan ask­ing around about the UNCHR, they drew at­ten­tion to them­selves and were ar­rested and spent two days in jail. After be­ing re­leased, they were taken to the UN of­fices and were told they could go to the Kakuma Refugee Camp. A bus was arranged to take them there and they have been there ever since. Ja­fari was 15 at the time and Kintu was 17. Ja­fari met Mwaliasha in 2012, when she ar­rived at Kakuma.

The fam­ily says they found out al­most three years ago they were ap­proved for re­set­tle­ment to Canada – so it has been a long, anx­ious wait. But they re­al­ize how for­tu­nate they are; many refugees there have been wait­ing for more than two decades to hear news they can leave Kakuma and make a new home else­where.

Their move to Canada was made pos­si­ble thanks to a group called the Sackville Refugee Re­sponse Coali­tion.

John Perkin, chair of the SRRC, said when refugees are ap­proved for re­lo­ca­tion into Canada, their file first goes to the cen­tral refugee of­fice and then out to the var­i­ous re­set­tle­ment groups across the coun­try, who then make the de­ci­sion of match­ing up those in­di­vid­u­als or fam­i­lies with their com­mu­nity.

The fam­ily, a bit un­sure of what the fu­ture holds for them but thank­ful to be in a safe and com­fort­ing place, say they are amazed by the friend­li­ness of the res­i­dents here, with many peo­ple stop­ping to chat, say hi and wel­com­ing them to the com­mu­nity when they are out to events such as the Satur­day morn­ing farm­ers’ mar­ket. They want to thank ev­ery­one in Sackville who has made their re­set­tle­ment to Canada a re­al­ity. They hope to be look­ing for jobs in the near fu­ture and would not rule out stay­ing in Sackville if pos­si­ble.

“Sackville is a great place, it has all the ameni­ties you need here – the univer­sity, shops, the hospi­tal. It’s just a great place,” says Ja­fari.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.