There’s a saying in my family: Canada is a cold country but its citizens are the warmest. (My parents immigrated from humid sub-tropical Pakistan.)
The sentiment is evident in a new video released by World Vision Canada (WVC). When they put out a call they were creating a welcome video for Syrian families landing in Canada this week, community response was swift. The sweet children of our true north strong and free – all sizes, shapes, hues, ethnicities, and religions – sent adorable video messages in multiple languages.
To show how much they care, our kids sang the national anthem, waved the Canadian flag, extolled the virtues of Timbits, invited Syrian children to join their schools, to play, and become friends. And more. When I saw the news release, I thought, what the heck, I’ll send a snippet of my eight-year-old. I never imagined the video would begin with him.
The 2½-minute video will be shown to new arrivals by various resettlement organizations.
Aside from donating money, Hugh Brewster, WVC’s national manager of Canadian Programs has some suggestions on how Canadian families can welcome these newest members of society.
- Discuss the crisis: Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about what the newcomers have endured.
- Volunteer: Translators, ESL tutors, family counsellors can help Syrian newcomers adjust to life here. Get in touch with a sponsorship committee and offer to take newcomers to the doctor or visit housing… or arrange playdates!
- Fundraise: Yard sales and bake sales are always helpful. Collect clothing and household items but first, check with refugee organizations to see what is most needed.