My apologies for a long delay between updates. It’s been quite busy :)

While we have all been managing with Covid-19, and hopefully staying safe and healthy, REST has continued to work toward sponsoring more refugees and following up with the newcomers we have brought previously.

Bukhari: In June, Bukhari received an award from Vancouver Community College, where he has been studying for years now. This was in recognition of his enthusiasm, hard work and leadership within the visually impaired program at VCC. Then, in January, Bukhari passed his citizenship exam and became a Canadian Citizen! Wow! We are so proud of him and he is proud of himself. This was a lot of work to get his English skills so strong. Thanks also to the ongoing support from Cynthia who continues to help Bukhari when he needs it.

Honada and Said (and kids): The family is doing very well. Honada now works three days a week at Tour de Feast restaurant, which is about 3 blocks from the house they moved to in September. Said continues to work in construction and prefers to work as much as possible. He is now making a much better wage and has stayed with the same company since he started in 2016! The kids are doing well. Nour is engaged in a work placement program with Work BC and I hear that a job may be starting soon. She is very motivated to get back to work. She loved her job in a clothing store before, but the store went out of business at the beginning of 2019. Ahmad is working toward graduation from high school and is currently looking for a part time job. Ibrahim is doing really well with the special education program at Windsor High School.

Neema: (adopted daughter of Mambo from DRC) Neema moved to Ontario to attend university. She has been credited with most of her university credits from her schooling in Congo, so she may be able to graduate in December of this year! Yay Neema!

Malis’ family: Malis and his three younger children were sponsored and have settled well. His daughter continues to struggle to find her place in Canada and her cousins continue to try to help her. Malis’ son Bonheur has just graduated with a diploma in music production and is looking for a starting position in that field. If anyone has a connection, please let me know. He is a delightful young man.

Applications were submitted at the end of 2020 for Malis’ two oldest daughters, Chance and Lidine and his granddaughter. They are originally from Democratic Republic of the Congo. We hope that their application is processed soon. One of the young women has elephantiasis. She is now doing much better after we sent funds so that she could get treatment. Unfortunately, her daughter Julie has been suffering with Malaria and has been quite ill. We all wait impatiently for their arrival, so that they can join the rest of the family and receive good medical treatment.

Sarah: Sarah’s application was sent in early 2021. She is waiting patiently in Lebanon. We were able to send some funds to her so that she could have dental work completed to relieve her painful teeth. We have not received any updates about her status from IRCC, but hope she will also come quickly.

Mousa’s family: We previously sponsored Mousa (Palestinian Syrian), who has done so well in his settlement. He works full time at Nook restaurant as a dishwasher and is very independent. REST and St. Agnes Church partnered with the Karibu group to sponsor Mousa’s older siblings and then with a couple from the Karibu group to sponsor Mousa’s mother and three youngest siblings. Four applications have been submitted for the adult siblings. One more application is being prepared for his mother and younger siblings. That should be submitted soon.

Family from South Sudan: There is a delightful young couple from South Sudan who are doing everything in their power to raise funds and create a sponsor group to bring their two families to Canada. The young couple has been through many struggles, but they are positive and determined. They currently send funds to help their families survive, so raising the additional funds to sponsor is quite a challenge. REST will be assisting them with some of the funding for their sponsorship.