For the Townsman
A fter months of planning and preparation, the Cranbrook Hub for Refugees (CHR) will soon welcome an Ethiopian family consisting of a father, mother and three boys ages nine, five and a baby.
Originally from Ethiopia, they are currently living in Israel and cannot go back to their home country because of fear for their safety.
This family was identified by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees for resettlement, and as with other refugee families who have arrived in Cranbrook and across Canada, the process of getting here has not been an easy one.
The family went through an extensive screening process which included a medical examination and security screening. An experienced visa officer collected biographical information and biometrics such as fingerprints and digital photos which were checked against law enforcement, immigration and security databases.
After the family was approved, they had to wait until they were matched with the CHR, who will sponsor them to come to Cranbrook.
The CHR, through its 11 teams of volunteers, is ready to help them resettle here. They have collected donations of cash and household items from the generous people of Cranbrook. Temporary housing will be provided until they can move into a more permanent home which will be stocked with all of the furniture and household items that they will require to live comfortably. Clothing suitable to our climate and their needs will be provided. A team of medical professionals has offered to care for them as required.
Their living expenses will be covered for a year through a combination of government assistance and CHR funds.
The family will be assisted in finding employment, and if necessary, with improving their English. A group of volunteers from the CHR has already been working with Syrian refugees in Cranbrook to provide English language tutoring and will continue their work with this family if required.
Other volunteers will help with transportation, finding child care as needed, and exploring recreational opportunities.
Assistance will be offered with sensitivity to their culture and religion.
The date of the family’s arrival is not yet known but it could be several months before they arrive. Whenever they arrive, the CHR hopes that the community of Cranbrook will join in making them feel welcome as they begin to build a new life here.
Submitted by the Cranbrook Hub for Refugees