Summerside group welcomes Syrian family to P.E.I.

The community group, Syria to Summerside have welcomed their privately sponsored family to the city on Saturday.

Another Syrian family of 5 scheduled to arrive in early March

The community group "Syria to Summerside" welcomed a privately sponsored family to the city on Saturday.

The Syria to Summerside community group welcomed a Syrian family to their new home Saturday. (CBC)
Rev. Andrew Richardson said the parents and four children arrived very early in the morning and were taken to their new apartment.

"They don't speak any English so they're overwhelmed. And certainly they're tired. But they're very, very grateful to be here and in their new place. The younger kids especially. I mean they're just kids so it's lovely to see actually. They're just acting like kids. They've been playing with the games that we've provided and playing with the toys and really kind of just enjoying the space."

The children are two boys and two girls, and range in age from three to 14.

Richardson is a minister at Trinity United Church, which has led the community group in its work to sponsor this family and another family of five through private sponsorship. The other family, a mother and father and their three sons, are expected to arrive by Mar. 1.

The sponsors are using a blended visa referral, which means over the course of a year the federal government pays half the family's financial support and the private sponsors pay the rest.

The Syria to Summerside group has raised $65,000 to help support the families for a year.

Richardson said there are a number of other sponsor groups working in Summerside and within the next couple months there should be a community of at least 30 Syrians living there.