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A new family for Carberry…

posted Jun 6, 2016, 7:52 AM by Kathy Carr
After a long time of having “no news” the Carberry Community Refugee Sponsorship Committee now has some “good news.” We could soon see a new family in our community!
Since the beginning of September a group of individuals have been working to bring a refugee family to Carberry.
Our initial focus, no doubt due to all the media attention, was on the Syrian refugee crisis, but after our first meeting, and looking at the global refugee issue, we decided that we would sponsor any refugee family. There are millions of refugees, fleeing a variety of war and conflict zones.  Some make the global news. Most do not.  Some find new homes in countries. Most do not, and spend their years in refugee camps. 
So since September, we have been steadily raising money and awareness for this potential family. From donation cans located throughout the town, to mailings to our businesses, and a musical evening, this community and others have been most generous in helping fund a “potential family.” We have had donations of furniture and household effects, offers of assistance and many best wishes.  We had everything - except a family.
We were told that some communities wait upwards of two years for a family, so we were preparing for a long wait. 
However, at the end of May, we were notified that a family of four (a mother and her two children, and the mother’s younger sister) were available and might possibly be a match with the Carberry community.  
When you are notified that a refugee family is available you are given only 48 hours to accept or not.  So we held a very quick meeting, and agreed to accept this family of four.  
They originally are from Liberia, and during the Liberian civil war /unrest fled to the Ivory Coast for sanctuary.  They have been living there ever since, and due to safety concerns are not able to return to Liberia. The United Nations have deemed them refugees, and they have been waiting for a new “home” for a long time. We will be sponsoring them (jointly with the federal government) for one year, after which it is hoped that they will be able to be on their own.  
It is a HUGE move from West Africa to Carberry, but one of the “plusses” of this particular family is that they speak English. However, they have other issues which will need to be addressed. 
At present we are looking for accommodation for them, in the form of a rental unit with a minimum of three bedrooms. If you can assist with this please contact the co-chairs of our committee, Shauna McKinnon and Bryan McAllister.  
We are also in need of someone who can organize transportation for the family.  This would mean arranging people who could drive them to appointments etc. We have had offers from people willing to drive, but we need one contact person to oversee this work.
The Carberry Community Refugee Sponsorship Committee is thrilled about this exciting news, as we anticipate the arrival of this new family to the community between one and three months from now. 

by Peggy Reid & Gloria Mott
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