Large Syrian family now expected to arrive Thursday

A group waiting to welcome an 11-member Syrian family to Charlottetown doesn't have long to wait. An update received Tuesday says the refugees will arrive Thursday.

Sponsorship group received an update Tuesday about earlier arrival

Syrian Kurdish refugee children who fled Kobani with their families stand outside their tent at a refugee camp in Suruc, on the Turkey-Syria border on Oct. 11. (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)

A group waiting to welcome an 11-member Syrian family to Charlottetown doesn't have long to wait — the group received an update Tuesday that the family will arrive on P.E.I. Thursday morning. 

This Charlottetown bedroom is still awaiting the arrival of a family of Syrian refugees. (Edwin and Judy Goodwin/Facebook)

A group of Queens County churches and a number of individuals, including Charlottetown's Bonnie Stewart, are sponsoring the family.

"This is the fourth change in arrival date the group has been given, and so they won't for sure until the family is on the ground, but they're hopeful," says Stewart.

Instability in Turkey

The family was originally supposed to arrive from Turkey on July 19. That was pushed back to Tuesday, and then the sponsorship group was told the family wouldn't arrive until August 10.

Stewart said they weren't sure why the date had been pushed back that far.

The sponsorship group has gathered together the gear the family will need when they arrive in Canada. (Edwin and Judy Goodwin/Facebook)

"They're in a refugee camp in Turkey. Things in Turkey have been politically a little bit unstable for the last 10 days or so. We're not sure if they're any correlation between that and the fact that they've been delayed," said Stewart.

But Stewart said she got a call Tuesday that the delay won't be as long as initially expected.

Father is a skilled worker

The family has nine children, who range in age from five months to 16 years. The father is a skilled worker, so Stewart is hopeful he will find a job quickly.

Bonnie Stewart is hopeful the family's father will find work quickly, because he is a skilled worker. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

The family will be living at the Charlottetown Trinity manse, which the sponsorship group is renting for them.

The P.E.I. churches raised more than $50,000 to support the family. The group also ran a GoFundMe campaign that raised $26,000 with people donating from all over the world, including from Qatar, Australia and Scotland.

With files from Laura Chapin