Refugee mother, four children make new home in Annapolis Royal thanks to ARCARE
It’s hot in Ghana, so when Anna Amegah saw the recent snow in Annapolis Royal, she was in awe.
“I was amazed. The first day I went out there and I was like ‘Wow!’ I call it amazing because we don’t have snow falling in Africa,” she said from her new home on the town’s waterfront. “I’ve been blessed to be in a place where snow is falling. Very happy.”
And she likes her new home tucked between a museum and a bed-and-breakfast in Canada’s oldest town. It’s been a long time coming for the mother of four, who fled Liberia years ago to live as a refugee in nearby Ghana.
She will never go back to Liberia where civil wars killed as many as 250,000 people until a peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005. The country was known for its child soldiers and the displacement of as many as one million people. She was one of them.
Asked how long she’d been waiting to come to Canada, she said too long.
“I waited. It was about two years after my interview with the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees),” she said. “I was successful. The Canadian government accepted my request. It elated me but I kept waiting. It was two years.”
When she found out recently she would be going to Canada, she cried.
New home in Canada Ashley Sprague sat with Anna and her kids on a recent snowy morning. It was white and windy outside. School was cancelled again, much to the dismay of 12-year-old Wendy and six-yearold Kelvin, who were eager to start classes and meet new friends. They had toured the school but snow had kept the doors closed ever since.
Three-year-old Philemon was all smiles trying out the reporter’s camera, and 10-month-old Elsa was sleeping in a crib nearby.
“A lot happened in between,” Sprague said in reference to Anna’s UNHCR interview and her arrival in Canada.
The group Sprague belongs to, Annapolis Royal Community Assisting Relocation, sponsored the Haggar family from Sudan twoand-a-half years ago – a mom with six kids.
Three-year-old Philemon is a bundle of energy and smiles since arriving at his new home in Annapolis Royal. Two weeks ago he was living in Ghana with his mother Anna Amegah and his three siblings.