Our big news is that we managed to arrange a skills
assessment through Camosun College for Ubaydah. In mid-February, he spent a
couple of hours with the Electronics and Computer Engineering Department Chair
and an Arabic-speaking instructor. Ubaydah was given the task of
troubleshooting and repairing a defective power supply which to his great
satisfaction he accomplished readily.
Clearly language will continue to be his biggest challenge
in finding work and in the future to upgrading his skills. As a stop-gap
measure, our sponsorship group found a volunteer position for him in a small
electronics repair shop – which he loved. Ubaydah was grateful to have
something meaningful to occupy his time. He enjoyed the contribution he was
able to make to the business during the few weeks that he spent afternoons
At present, he is enrolled in an all-day program put on
jointly by the ICA and the BC Alliance for Manufacturing. The object of the
program is to prepare refugees to seek work opportunities in Canada. The
potential for employment at the conclusion of this two-month program is
promising. Ubaydah is very happy at being able to participate, and attends ESL
two evenings a week. Samar joked that he comes home at 9:00 pm after a 12 hour
day, has dinner and falls asleep immediately.
Samar enjoys working around their small apartment – and we
have discovered she is a great cook. She would like to find part-time
employment as well. Once Faruq enters kindergarten, in the fall of 2017, she
may have more options. Child-care will be a problem until then.
In the last week, there has been considerable excitement in
the family’s household. Ubaydah’s brother and his family, who are being
sponsored by another group, arrived in Victoria on March 22. They are a close-knit family, and Faruq has missed his cousins. Everyone is so happy at being in
the same city again.
The family has been trying to find a small freezer on
UsedVictoria, without success. Periodically they are able to buy pita bread in
bulk through the mosque, but their top-of-fridge freezer isn’t big enough to
hold large amounts. From time-to-time also they find price reductions on halal
meat, and a small freezer would help them save money if they can buy in larger
quantities. If you can help, please let us know.
Thank you again for your ongoing support.
Jean Dragushan, Chair
Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Project