SCUGOG: Two young Syrian families had their lives changed forever when their apartment complex was bombed, leaving them nowhere to go.
Since the attack, the two families, like many others, were sent to refugee camps and are now being sponsored by the Knights of Columbus in Port Perry.
John Peco belongs to the Knights of Columbus and has been heavily involved in resettling the refugees who are expected to come to Port Perry later this month.
He said, “We got to know these people, they speak broken English and we have been emailing back and forth multiple times a day, for the last two and a half years and we feel like we’ve gotten to know them, so we are pretty excited about bringing them here.”
He told The Standard the two families are expected to arrive on February 22nd, and the Knights are excited to meet them face to face.
“We were all touched by the crisis unfolding in Syria,” John said. “We saw these people whose lives and homes were absolutely being destroyed.”
He continued, “[The two families we are sponsoring] left their neighbourhood after being bombed and there was just nothing left. These were ordinary families, living ordinary lives, trying to do the best they can for their kids and were left with absolutely nothing.”
After hearing about the horrors this family endured, the Knights of Columbus partnered with the Archdiocese of Toronto, as well as Project Hope, to resettle the two families in Port Perry.
“We just felt that we live in a pretty fantastic place, Canada has lots to offer and we have lots to offer in Port Perry, so we wanted to offer them a place to start over,” John said.
To help sponsor the families, the Knights have raised a little over $23,000 through donations and they hope to raise their goal of $60,000 once the families arrive.
“Now that the families are coming, we are quite hopeful that the community will respond and we will continue to receive donations,” John said.
Monetary donations are great, but John told The Standard the Knights also need people who can donate their time to help provide the families with transportation.
John said, “If there are people who would be willing to provide rides to medical appointments or other appointments, we would graciously accept that help.”
He added it would be appreciated if people from the area who speak Armenian or Arabic, could help teach the families to speak better English.
The Knights of Columbus are still working to furnish the rental homes the Syrian families will be living in, so they are currently in need of furniture, household items, and clothing.
Anyone who would like to get involved with helping the Syrian families as they transition into their new home in Port Perry, can email email@example.com and express their interest.
John said, “We are just so grateful that these families are now able to come to Canada and get their lives back on track.”
We reserve the right to remove any and all comments for any reason. Comments with swearing will be deleted without exception.