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Refugee family from Syria set to arrive in Kamloops today

Maryam, 8, holds her handdrawn sign, alongside her family to welcome the first Syrian refugees at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Dec. 10, 2015.
Image Credit: Shutterstock
December 30, 2015 - 10:24 AM

KAMLOOPS - One of the Syrian families moving to Kamloops will arrive today after successfully entering Canada as refugees.

Refugees and Friends Together (RAFT), a group which helped sponsor four families through the United Church, will pick up the arriving group — a couple and their three children — from the airport today, Dec. 30, and help them get set up in their new apartment on the North Shore once the new year hits.

“We’re going to have ourselves a little welcoming party. We’re very excited,” organizer Martha Ashbaugh says.

RAFT has a history of helping refugees from many places around the world get to Kamloops with partial or full sponsorship. The family arriving today will be sponsored by the group for six months and the federal government will help cover costs for the second half of the year.

While the group has spent much of their time raising funds and filling out paperwork, the process had a few trips along the way. RAFT worked with little knowledge of when each of the four families they’ve agreed to sponsor would arrive. Ashbaugh says she found out about this family’s arrival yesterday.

“We didn’t know we had to hurry, but it’s organized and we know what we’re doing,” she says.

Two other families are still waiting to come to Kamloops. Ashbaugh says she was recently told the fourth family the church agreed to help will be going elsewhere, but has little information on what happened with the file.

“We’ve had a bureaucratic breakdown somewhere,” she says.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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