Syria or Myanmar?

Why does it matter whether the refugee family is from Syria or from Myanmar?

  • May. 19, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Why does it matter whether the refugee family is from Syria or from Myanmar? They are a family who were persecuted and endangered in their home country because of their religious beliefs. They fled to Thailand where they have been surviving in a jungle camp with no opportunity for education or good healthcare.

The whole idea of helping a refugee family is to provide them with a chance to better their lives and in fact to possibly save their lives.

The Qualicum Beach Refugee Support Group (QBRSR) does not get to cherry pick and ensure that ‘our’ refugee family is educated or in any way more appropriate for living in our community. No one has suggested that this will not be difficult or challenging. It is not the job of QBRSG to search for potential employment at this time. It may not be their focus for quite some time.

These poor folk will be in complete culture shock along with any other issues they may have. They have probably never seen a kitchen sink, a couch, a television, lawnmower, utensils, beds, cars, street lights, etc. Please try to imagine ways that we can help them to adjust and please don’t begrudge them a peaceful ocean view.

Canada has always been home to people who arrived with nothing and were willing to work hard and contribute to the society we all enjoy. Many of us have parents or grandparents who came here as children, knowing no English, but were happy and proud to call Canada their new home. They struggled to make it all work so that their own children would have opportunities that weren’t available to them in their home countries.

The town of Qualicum Beach and many generous volunteers are providing a family with hope and giving them an opportunity to get a head start in a new country. Let’s all open our minds to the possibilities, especially for the five children who have hopes and dreams just like our own children and grandchildren.

Jennifer and Terry RobertsParksville

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