Sudbury·Audio

Syrian refugees in Sudbury: how they are doing, four months later

More refugee families are scheduled to arrive in Sudbury, likely later this year. Meanwhile, the two refugee families here now are adjusting well to life in Sudbury.

Earlier this year two refugee families arrived in Sudbury after fleeing their homes in the middle east

Nilgiri Pearson is the co-ordinator of Lifeline Sudbury, a network that helps with the sponsorship process for groups bringing refugees to Sudbury. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)
It's been more than four months since two refugee families arrived in Sudbury. How are they doing? We got an update from Nilgiri Pearson of Lifeline Sudbury, the umbrella network that helps all the sponsorship groups bring refugees to Sudbury.

Two Syrian refugee families have been calling Sudbury home for more than four months now.

The newcomers are being helped by two different sponsorship groups — and Lifeline Sudbury is the local network that helps all sponsorship groups around the city.

Co-ordinator Nilgiri Pearson said he feels these new Canadians have had a positive impact on the community.

"It sort of reminds us of what's important and it reminds us of our humanitarian spirit and so on," he said.

"So maybe it hasn't changed us so much as helped us to appreciate what's important about ourselves, our community and about other people."

Pearson said the Sudbury community has been overwhelming in its support for these Syrian refugee families.

"The amount of support and positive gestures, and just saying hello, being welcoming, smiling, making an effort to greet these people, especially the children and talk to them, has just been really positive," he said.

"Sudbury really needs to pat itself on the back, because they've done a superb job and I'm really proud of my city."

It's been more than four months since two refugee families from Syria arrived in Sudbury. (CBC)

More refugees coming

More refugee families are scheduled to arrive in Sudbury, likely later this year. Meanwhile, the two refugee families here now are adjusting well to life in Sudbury, Person said.

The families have been enjoying learning Canadian activities like hockey, skating and sledding.

Both fathers in the families have part-time jobs, Pearson said the children appear to have adjusted to their new life better than their parents. The family members are learning English.

Syria is a different place than Canada — and the refugees are so grateful and happy to be away from the turmoil and conflict, Nilgiri said.

"Having these refugee families here in Sudbury has helped us, as Canadians, appreciate what is important about ourselves, our community and other people," he said.

For more information about Lifeline Sudbury, head over to their website.

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