Refugee Family Update

Refugee Family Update

The family, Mohamad, Hanifa and Aliya, has made great progress but are still struggling to make ends meet especially over the winter.

Your gifts last year made a huge difference to them. Mohamad is a landscape worker and was laid off over the winter but managed to work part time. The gift certificates allowed them to purchase food, work clothes and items not available at the thrift shops until he was re-employed in the spring. Aliya was at home from school in the spring and isolated in the apartment. Thanks to funds from White Gifts, we were able to fund two recreation programs during the summer to increase her exposure to English and help with socialization. This also gave her mother a much-needed break.

In late August Mohamad passed his driving test. This was a great achievement as he came from a place where he never expected to be able to drive a car. In spite of his low salary he was able to save a few thousand dollars and was able to purchase a 2003 Buick Century. He can now drive his family to the grocery store which Hanifa is thrilled about and Aliya is so proud that her daddy can drive. It is also going to open up employment opportunities as many positions require the applicant to have a vehicle.

The car did not come with snow tires. To keep the family safe, it was decided to use the remainder of the White Gift money to help Mohamad to purchase snow tires. Last year’s White fund has now been expended.

Mohamad is now in seasonal layoff. They are in a little better position this year as he will likely qualify for Employment Insurance. The job market is still very difficult for someone that is unskilled with limited English. Due to the Covid shut down they have not been able to access English classes at Immigrant Services. He is continuing to absorb the language and we are hopeful he may be able to access a job that provides year-round full-time employment soon.

The family is very grateful to the church for the support and employment is has offered. He thinks we are all “Very Good People”.