Syrian family to arrive in Minto on Oct. 17

A family fleeing violence in their homeland will soon be making their home in Harriston.

Minto Refugee Settlement Committee (MRSC) chair Terry Fisk says the group has learned a family of Syrians who have spent the last three years in a refugee camp in Turkey will arrive in the community on Oct. 17.

Fisk and several other MRSC members attended the Oct. 4 Minto council meeting to receive a cheque for $3,500 as one of three designated charities benefiting from the 2016 Minto Mayor’s Golf Tournament.

Fisk said the group was “very, very excited” to learn that all hurdles have been cleared to allow the family of eight (including six children between the ages of two and 12) to come to Canada.

“The two Syrian families who are already here are excited at their coming as well, and I’m sure there is much joy, and probably some trepidation for the Almohamads as they prepare to leave their tent in the camp in Ankara where they have lived for the last three years,” stated MRSC member June Macdonald in an e-mail to the Advertiser.

The family will live in a home in Harriston, which was purchased by MRSC members Jim and Susan Zaryski to facilitate bringing the family to the community.

Although the committee guarantees the rent for one year, finding a suitable house for the family had been a stumbling block to the committee, said Fisk.

“It’s an amazing feat of generosity and a true Christian act,” he stated.

Fisk said arranging for the family to learn English will be a focus over the next six months, to facilitate employment for the father, who is a construction worker. The committee already has several local employers willing to provide work.

Also receiving contributions of $3,500 from the golf tournament on Aug. 11 at Pike Lake Golf Centre, are the First Palmerston Scouts and Minto Minor Ball.  

The scouts will put the funds toward a trip to the Canadian Jamboree in Nova Scotia next year, while the ball organization will use the money for new equipment.