Helping keep it real
Rami Kaai and Thornhill parish work to bring refugees to the area
Rami Kaai, a representative of the Syrian Refugee Committee at Jesus the King Melkite Catholic Church in Thornhill, has done remarkable work for Syrian refugees in the area.
“It is up to all of us,” he says, “to “welcome these people. They are honest, they are Christian, and they find themselves caught between the crossfire.”
According to the local resident, the parish is now helping more than 40 families who recently arrived from Syria.
In addition to helping numerous refugees come to Canada through the Catholic organization, Kaai also helps them to adjust to life in a new country on a more practical level. He has dedicated the last year to the refugee cause in Thornhill, and the parish continues to work on an increasing number of applications.
“We help to register their kids in schools. We help them with child tax benefits, with shelter and all kinds of paperwork that is difficult to handle when you first come to a new country,” he explains.
In order to be able to rent an apartment, Kaai explains, a person often needs pay stubs or other proof of employment. But the church provides a letter that provides financial assurance for potential landlords.
It is important to stress, adds Kaai, that the refugees in his community “are well educated, speak English well and simply need an opportunity to start a new life.”
Rami Kaai and his Thornhill church have worked extensively with Syrian refugees