On 24 October 2019, the Cathedral Refugee Sponsorship Group (CRSG) and its Rotary Club partners marked the one year anniversary of our second Syrian refugee family’s arrival after many delays, here in Ottawa from Lebanon. Hussain and Afraa Othman and their two children, Tamara and toddler Mohamad, have now settled into their new life here in Ottawa and in December 2019 welcomed the arrival of the newest member of their family, baby daughter ‘Bydaa.’ As one might well imagine, this has been a joyous and significant event as Bydaa was safely born here in Canada and is the first of the family to be a Canadian citizen. Although the one year formal sponsorship period is now completed the CRSG and its Rotary Club partners continue to remain engaged with our second family providing advice and support, including some further financial assistance as they continue to meet various ongoing health challenges. In addition, the CRSG and its Rotary Club partners continue to pursue having a prosthetic made for Hussain’s left hand.
First Family: The CRSG and its Rotary Club partners remain engaged with the first family as friends and advisors, providing support and expertise when requested and appropriate. Both Mohamad and Shoq remain busy working and also growing their own entrepreneurial endeavours. Shoq’s Kanata Syrian Desserts can be found Saturday mornings at the Carp Farmers Market and her Kanata Syrian Food Catering on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/KanataSyrianFoodCatering/. Mohamad’s Beaver Decks (beaverdecks.com) has only been in business for one season and has already acquired a reputation for excellence and was awarded a second deck project from one of our parishioners.
CRSG Finances: Although the financial figures from 2019 are not yet finalized, the financial overview prepared by the CRSG and Rotary Club’s Don Rogers estimated current available funds at January 23, 2020 are approximately $5,400. This allows a small margin for unexpected contingencies. No further fund raising has been planned. We remain very grateful to the Cathedral community for its continued and generous support.