The end of the year is a pretty great time to reflect on the previous year and think about what we’d like to work on in the New Year - maybe personally, professionally, or as a community.
As much as I love travelling - on my own and also touring with the Riveters - sometimes it feels like by the time I get home to Saskatoon, I just don’t have the time or energy to put into my community. It's can be pretty easy to feel isolated, alone, and disconnected from my own city, so, my New Year’s Resolution is to become more active in my city and to help other people feel welcome in this community.
As you probably have heard, there will be 25,000 Syrian refugees arriving in Canada by the end of February 2016. Approximately 10,000 people will be arriving in their new home before December 31, 2015, and about 1600 people will be settling in the communities Saskatoon and Regina.
Many, if not most, of these families have been waiting for years to arrive in Canada and have spent the last few years in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon after fleeing the civil war in Syria.
The Saskatoon Open Door Society & the Regina Open Door Society provide resettlement services for newcomers to both cities. These services can include information and access to healthcare, banking, language & translation, education, jobs, and and housing, among other things and are vital for the newcomers to start their lives in Saskatchewan.
There are a million ways to get involved and help our new neighbours feel welcome. Check out the websites of the Saskatoon Open Door Society and the Regina Open Door Society and learn how you can donate time, clothes, housewares, or money. The MCC has also set up a webpage where you can donate money to help sponsor and support a Syrian family coming to Canada. You can donate through the MCC HERE.
It's been heartwarming to see the signs of welcome as the Syrian refugees arrive at airports across Canada. What a beautiful & diverse country we live in & what a great way to start a new year. Happy 2016!