- The Circle of New Friends has received confirmation that the Darwch family is scheduled to arrive at the Ed- monton International Airport on December 1 at 11:35 a.m. All parishioners are invited to gather at the Air- port to meet and welcome the Darwch family to our community!
The Edris family, who arrived back in May, is settling in well into their home in Stony Plain. The parents, Majid and Dareen, have started part-time English language learning classes and will be participating in full time classes in October. The children will be starting a new school year shortly and overall, the family is doing well.
Back in May, the Circle of New Friends had announced that the Darwch family, who was to be sponsored by the Devon, Calmar, and Thorsby parishes, had decided to return home to Syria and the sponsorship was ended. Recently, new information has come forward that this was incorrect and the real reason the family returned home was that Mohanad Darwch’s father had suffered a heart attack. The family desired to remain close to ensure he was taken care of, but still also desired to eventually come to Canada as originally planned. The Circle of New Friends was approached to re-instate this sponsorship and it was decided that it would be feasible to do so.
As the Edris and Darwch families are close relatives (Dareen Edris and Mohanad Darwch are brother and sister), the Darwch family will be moving in with the Edris family, after some minor renovations are completed. This will not only keep living costs lower for both families, but will also keep the families close enough that they can support each other as they continue to transition.
The Circle of New Friends, which still consists of the Catholic parishes in Devon, Calmar, Thorsby, and Enoch, the Lutheran communities in Devon and Thorsby and other organizations and individuals in many communities, will continue to work together to support both families.
Catholic Social Services is now offering financial support to parishes sponsoring Syrian refugees, so with this assistance, as well as current savings, future fundraisers, and ongoing donations from other organizations, the additional funds required to support the Darwch family will be minimal.
In November of 2015, The Circle of Friends, consisting of the Catholic parishes of Our Lady of Mercy (Enoch), St. Maria Goretti (Devon), St. Margaret Mary (Calmar), Our Lady of Victory (Thorsby) and their extended communities agreed to sponsor two (2) Syrian refugee families, one family to reside in Stony Plain and the second family in Devon. A large number of volunteers, including parishioners from Victory Lutheran Parish in Devon and St. Matthew’s Lutheran Parish in Thorsby, have been preparing for the arrival of these families.
On April 26, 2016, Paulette Johnson, administrator of the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton refugee sponsorship initiative, informed the Circle of Friends that the Syrian family that was to be re-settled in Devon had decided to return to Syria. Further to that announcement, Paulette confirmed that the 2016 provincial quota of Syrian refugees had been reached and that the next opportunity to sponsor a Syrian family would be sometime in 2017.
The members of the Committee concurred that it was ethically bound to expend the donations for the intended purpose, that is, for the sponsorship of Syrian refugees, families whose lives have been violently interrupted and scarred by the ongoing violence, destruction, and death in Syria. Therefore, at the May 10, 2016 meeting of the Circle of Friends, it was decided to focus our resources on our refugee family of six (6) that will be housed in Stony Plain.
The Edris Majid family, who are of the Catholic Christian faith tradition, consists of Majhid (father), Dareen (mother), Sabrin (daughter, age 17), Wisfi (son, age 16), Sabin (daughter, age 14), and Lin (daughter, age 9). The family arrived on Thursday, May 12 and will be introduced to the participating communities in the near future.
The Circle of Friends wishes to sincerely thank you for your generous donations of time, talent and treasure and to encourage you to continue to support the sponsorship of the Edris Majid family.
Further to the preceding information, as of Monday, May 9, an evacuee family from Fort McMurray is residing in the accommodations that had been arranged in Devon. The home has been offered for their use for as long as needed.
The Circle of New Friends consists of a Sponsorship Committee and six sub-committees tasked with responsibilities for citizenship, education, accommodations, transportation, employment, and finance.
For further information, please contact Jerry Zimmer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or telephone: (780) 738-5403.