I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of the Arab Club at University of the Fraser Valley to the refugees in Abbotsford.
My family accepted a Syrian family about a month ago through Mennonite Central Committee. We have set them up with doctors and dentists and school and apartment, and groceries and jobs, etc.
What has been very unique is the contribution from the Arab Club at UFV. From the outset, they have gone above and beyond. When we were initially proposed a refugee family, we gathered our resources accordingly and, recognizing the language/cultural barrier, reached out to the Arab Club.
They responded positively and immediately. One of the club members offered to accompany us to the Vancouver Airport to assist us with the family’s arrival and with translating. Since then, there have been multiple members of the club who have, on a daily basis, checked in with the family, met with, shared meals with, taken them shopping, taken them to the mosque, etc.
These are UFV students who have themselves come from another country to obtain an education in Canada. In their spare time, on a volunteer basis, they have been absolutely instrumental in welcoming our refugee family to Abbotsford. In addition to this, they have extended their assistance to other Syrian families.
These individuals deserve recognition for their unconditional devotion to recognizing the need and acting accordingly. These truly are extraordinary people contributing in a meaningful way to the community of Abbotsford and the welcoming and integration of refugees. This is a success story.