Sponsored Syrian refugee family to arrive Jan. 1 in Waterloo

A sponsored Syrian refugee family is set to arrive in Canada Dec 31. and will move into their new home in Waterloo on New Year's Day, according to their sponsoring group in Waterloo.

Sponsors learned Wednesday night the family would arrive in Canada Thursday

A Syrian refugee looks up as her father holds her and a Canadian flag as they arrive at Pearson Airport in Toronto in December.

Karen Scian feels "astonished" now that the big day is finally here.

Scian and a group of Waterloo residents are sponsoring a Syrian refugee family of seven. She got news late on Wednesday night that the family was on the way to Canada and would arrive in Toronto late in the night as New Year's Eve becomes New Year's Day.

"We've got it all planned out, we head out tomorrow [Friday] morning, we've got a couple of vehicles lined up because it's a big family and we have no idea what they're arriving with," Scian told host Andrea Bellemare on CBC Radio's The Morning Edition Thursday. "One of the funny things about this experience is that there are so many unknowns and we just have to be ready to roll with them."

Scian's group will meet the family at their hotel and bring them to their new home, a 3-bedroom townhouse in Waterloo.

"It's a home, it's safe, it's warm, it's secure, it's comfortable, it's not fancy, it's just a home," she said. "It's right in the middle of a really great school district."

Earlier in the fall, Scian told CBC K-W that housing was the biggest challenge her group was facing in preparing for the family's arrival.

"In September when this all started to happen ... we just didn't know what to do and we were frustrated and we had no idea how to proceed so we decided just to jump in, full-fledged," she said.

"To think that [from] September to now, January first, we're going to successfully help four kids, and a grandmother and their parents resettle in Canada is pretty huge," she said. 


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