Monthly Archives: April 2016

Highlights of the 97th Synod of the Diocese of BC, held April 22,23, 2016!

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They are settling! Welcome to Canada! We meet the amazing family from Syria who our Parish, Church of the Cross Lutheran Church and the Community Group have sponsored.

It has been two and a half months since our Syrian Family arrived in Canada.

They are very appreciative that the Anglican Church and St Peter and St Paul were their sponsors to come to Canada.  We are so grateful for the financial help provided by the Lutheran Church of the Cross and another group of Victorians who raised money and collected furniture for the family. The family is amazed at how friendly and welcoming Canadians are and how generous they have been to them.

They almost immediately started to explore our city, taking buses everywhere and seeing and learning about Victoria. As a family they are all very positive and very optimistic about their future in Canada as they feel there are many more opportunities for all of them here in Canada.

Ibrahim had some English before he came to Canada but his understanding and his comprehension and reading skills, through daily practice, has increased a hundred fold.  Ibrahim has enrolled in three different English classes.  He hopes this will help him to quickly learn to read, spell and completely understand English. He is dedicated to obtaining his license to practice his profession as a pharmacist as soon as possible.  His other goal is to learn to drive in Canada.  He has just received his learners’ permit and is now able to practice driving.  Getting the permit was no easy feat as he had to read and understand everything in English to pass.  If anyone would like to help him prepare for his driving test by taking him out to practice, please let Sharon Wickware know.  He had his own car in Syria and has driven for years.

Ranim initially started out slowly to understand and speak English.  She took English in high school and had done very well. However, when she went to Turkey to go to university she had to learn Turkish and had no opportunity to speak English.  She soon forgot it.  Now, with the English foundation, her understanding of English, her use of the correct words and the correct tenses has improved dramatically. She is very comfortable speaking English and she improves daily.  She needs to practice.  In her eagerness to speak English well, she has enrolled in English at Camosun with Imbrahim as well as at the Intra Cultural Centre.

Nigar, the eight year old, is in grade three. Her teacher said she is doing well and is learning English quickly.  The other students are being very supportive.  Nigar has also learned to ride a bicycle at school and has just enrolled in soccer and is loving it.

Limar is five and is not in school yet.  She has discovered TV and so her English is improving as well. Limar has enrolled, along with her father, in a Saturday morning soccer group.  They enjoy playing soccer together.  Ibrahim is a very involved father and is protective and supportive of his family.

Nilay, at two, is still learning Arabic but is picking up English words as well.  She is a very busy little girl.

Nikar, the grandmother, is a lovely woman and is so pleased that she also has the opportunity to take English classes.  She is enrolled at the Intra Cultural Centre and will begin classes soon.  She has picked up a few words and seems to be understanding some of the English conversation now.  She is a bit apprehensive but her desire to learn will outweigh her concerns. Nikar, along with the rest of the family, is very welcoming and gracious.  She is an amazing cook, preparing everything from scratch.  She and Raneem make delicious family meals which I have had opportunity to sample. Syrians culturally are very hospitable and eager to feed you when you visit to my delight, I might add, as their food is very delicious.They are all eager to learn about their new home and have settled into a routine that will help them to become “productive citizens of Canada” (their words).  They are a lovely family and are a joy to be around.

It has been wonderful to get to know them.  I am hoping that when we have our next parish dinner in May they will join us so that you can meet them.

If you would like to get to know our family and help out with some of the different things that come up  that they may need assistance with, or just to meet and chat with them (they love the opportunity to practice English), please call Sharon Wickware – 250-477-6301.

Thank you.  Sharon Wickware, Syrian Family Sponsor Team

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