It was a New Year’s Day that our Eritrean newcomer family and we, their sponsors, will not soon forget. January 1, 2019 began with a visit of very special guests: Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Mohamad Fakih, Lebanese-Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Minister Hussen first reached out to us after seeing the adorable video of the two eldest children of the family enjoying their first snowfall in Canada that our group member Rebecca had posted on social media in November. The video went completely viral within hours, was picked up by media around the world and even retweeted by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
|Minister Hussen (right) and Mohamad Fakih interact with the family|
It seems hard to believe that less than two months ago, Jamila and her four small children were living in a refugee camp in Sudan, unsure about their future. She did not know that a sponsorship group was waiting for her at the airport in Toronto and expected in fact to be settled in yet another refugee camp (the information sharing with privately sponsored refugees prior to their arrival is something that definitely needs to improve!). Today, the family experienced the kind-heartedness and openness not just of ordinary Canadian citizens but even a high-level government