Help­ing keep it real

Rami Kaai and Thorn­hill parish work to bring refugees to the area

Richmond Hill Post - - News -

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

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