Video captures refugee children enjoying snow for 1st time

A video that shows two refugee children from Eritrea enjoying snow for the first time in Canada is melting hearts on social media.

Eritrean children, who arrived on Thursday, experience pure joy at seeing snow

Children from Eritrea experience snow for the first time in a Toronto back yard. The moment was captured on video and shared on Twitter, YouTube and Reddit. (Rebecca Davies/YouTube)

A video that shows two children from Eritrea enjoying snow for the first time in Canada is melting hearts on social media.

In the 43-second clip, a young girl and boy run out into a back yard in big winter coats, squeal with delight, walk around and jump. The girl spins, twirls and waves her arms. Both hold out their hands to catch falling snowflakes. Then they jump up and down. The look on their faces is pure joy.

Rebecca Davies, spokesperson for the Ripple Refugee Project, a Toronto-based group of private citizens that sponsors, settles, and helps to integrate newcomers to Canada, posted the video on Twitter, Reddit and YouTube. It has been viewed on Twitter more than 1.85 million times. 

The family arrived on Thursday from a refugee camp in Sudan, where they had lived for the past five years after fleeing violence in Eritrea. The video was taken on Saturday. The family, which includes a mother and four children, aged 7, 5, 3 and 13 months, is living with Davies.

"I looked up and there were big, fat snowflakes," Davies said on Monday. "We had talked the day before about weather in Canada. So I called them and they all ran to the window."

Two of the children ran away from the window, but the two in the video went downstairs, grabbed coats and boots out of a pile of unsorted donated clothing and headed outside, Davies said.

"They ran, opened the big patio door themselves, which is a very hard and heavy door, and just ran out, and put their faces up to the sky and started twirling," she said. 

By Monday afternoon, even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had seen the video and tweeted a word of thanks to Davies.

Davies, who is a volunteer, also tweeted a photo of the two children grabbing and eating snow.

The mother of the children was filled with joy to see her children experience snow for the first time, but is also curious about the snow herself, she added.

"It's all new," Davies said. "There's a huge curiosity of her own to see snow and touch snow and be in the moment herself."

The children were grabbing and eating the snow in this photo posted on Twitter. (Rebecca Davies/Twitter)


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