December 26 Update
The new year is arriving and so are Abdikadir, Asho, and their sons. A team of committee members is eager to meet the newcomers at the airport on January 26, after their 22 ½ hour trip, flying from the heat of Nairobi, Kenya to the cold of Toronto, Canada. They’ll be met with winter jackets, mitts, and scarves, and the welcome will be warm, to make up for the cold weather.
We are greatly relieved to have found a “landing spot,” temporary housing where the family can begin their life in Canada. It is, however, only temporary, and we are urgently seeking a permanent place for them to call home.
Besides Abdikadir, in his mid-forties, and Asho, in her late thirties, there are six sons, ranging in age from 19 years to 9 months. Please, if you know of a 3-bedroom house or apartment with heat and hydro included in the monthly price, contact committee co-chairs Alison Colvin or Henry Krol.
We are still in need of bedding. Please contact Susanna Jacob if you can donate blankets or duvets.
Contact Mary Horan if you can donate winter boots for children and adults, as well as snow pants, or lined pants.
If you’d like to contribute to welcoming this family to Canada, you can donate through Canadahelps.org and the Welcome Abdikadir and Family to Canada campaign page. Canadahelps.org will provide an immediate tax receipt.
Another financial way that you can help is by funding phone service for a year. Three phones are needed, at $300 per year. If you are moved to do this, please contact Alison Colvin or Henry Krol. The more we are able to contribute to the family’s first year in a new country, the fewer expenses they will have to deal with.
As always, we and the family are very grateful for the engagement of the Redeemer congregation in this ministry of welcoming the stranger. Thank you for your donations and your interest, and watch for more news after their arrival!
The West has been watching in horror as as Russia invades and appears intent on demolishing Ukraine. At Church of the Redeemer, we support Ukrainians by donating or by providing resources or space. We invite you to do the same. Helpful websites include:
- Ukrainian Immigrant Aid Society https://cuias.org/wp/
- Ukrainian Canadian Congress https://www.ucc.ca
- and for those who can help with housing, https://www.icanhelp.host/
How you can help
- Donate to our current sponsorship. You can do so through Canada Helps.
- Become a member of our group. We can always use extra hands to greet people at the airport, orient them to the City of Toronto, help with medical appointments and educational needs, etc.
- With the current flight of millions of refugees from Ukraine compounding the already existing worldwide refugee crisis, ever more refugees are in need of shelter. The Redeemer Refugee Committee would like to bring your attention to Techfugees. This international digital service connects refugee claimants to vacant houses or apartments. The initiative is supported by Romero House refugee settlement programme, as they reach out to individuals and companies who would be willing to provide short- or long-term housing to refugee claimants.
No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.
Back in 2016, in the midst of the surge of Syrian refugees, Mary Jo Leddy gave this advice: “Pay attention; don’t wait until you are ready; do what you can.” An MPP in the audience spoke up: “I’ve been waiting to do something, because I didn’t think I was ready, and I didn’t know what to do. Now I do, so if you’re interested in joining me, call my office tomorrow.”
In this spirit, write to your MPs and urge them to open our borders to refugees from around the world. Please consider using this letter, as is or revised. It calls on the Canadian government to reactivate and increase the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) programme. Understandably, refugees coming with the support of sponsorship groups such as ours at Redeemer are more readily settled than those simply coming as government sponsored refugees. The letter also calls for increasing admissions to Canada, to benefit both those displaced from their homelands and Canadian society at large. A large number of letters from constituents will indicate to our representatives that this is an important issue worthy of their attention.
For further information or to become involved, please contact Alison Colvin or Henry Krol.
Who we are
The Redeemer Refugee Committee is an interfaith group working since 2015 with the Anglican United Refugee Alliance (AURA) to sponsor refugees. In the past five years, our group has settled one family and five individuals. We are currently waiting to settle a Somali family coming from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. If you are interested in being part of the settlement group, please contact Alison Colvin or Henry Krol.
On Refugee Sunday, November 7, 2021 Dr. Mary Jo Leddy gave the homily at the 9:30 and 11:15 services. “We Can Do This” was an inspiring call to continue our work of welcoming the stranger. The founder of Romero House, a community welcoming refugees since 1991, Dr. Leddy has written many books, including At the Border Called Hope and The Other Face of God, both giving faces and personal stories of the perseverance of those fleeing their homelands to find refuge in Canada. Listen to her homily here.