As promised, I am writing with some positive news, to counteract the overarching gloom. This time, the subject is family “K”.
About one year ago, I was able to pair up a young Syrian man in his 20s, a graduate student here at Western, with a single very generous local donor. The donor offered to cover the whole family’s expenses. As a result, this student managed to rescue his father and mother, a sister around his same age, and a 10-year-old brother. They had been two years on the run.
The new arrivals have certainly faced challenges. The life of refugees, even once safe in Canada, isn’t all roses. The sister is receiving weekly medical care for a kidney condition; and not understanding English made the treatments frightening at first. And the ten-year-old brother could use some entertaining activities, as he feels rather isolated at present.
Still, all five are full of hope for the future, and refuse to cling to past suffering. They have located a match for organ donation, and the sister is scheduled for a kidney transplant. The familiar are in regular contact with their kind and caring Canadian sponsor. And they are convinced that, given the warm welcome they have received already, Canada is the best place to pursue their future.
The son, who wrote to me with this update, promised not to forget the generosity the family has experienced, and to offer the same to others in the future. As he said, “Life is like a wheel, it has to be make a 360 degree turn to continue the cycle of life, so one day you give, the other day you will be given by others in return.”
Salaam and welcome!