(SHERBROOKE) A week after the photo of the little Aylan Kurdi, found dead on a beach in Turkey, gave a real shock to public opinion on the crisis of Syrian refugees, the Syriac Orthodox Church of Sherbrooke continues its work realistically.
Early next week, four Iraqi families are that it sponsors finally arrive in Sherbrooke to rebuild a life. This twenty individuals will join relatives who arrived in Sherbrooke for two or three years.
Responsible for the reception of refugees in the Syriac Orthodox Church, states that Georges Mourani demand to accommodate was made a year ago and that their papers were in the embassy of Jordan in all that time. The families, they displaced from Mosul when the city fell into the hands of jihadists, survive in difficult conditions. “They had a choice to convert to Islam or leave Iraq,” says Mr. Mourani.
“Everyone talks of Syrian families today, he recalls, but the war to the Islamic state is Iraq and Syria which it relates. The Islamic State is no difference between these borders. ”
In anticipation of their arrival Monday, the reception committee of the Syrian Church of Sherbrooke rented apartments that works to fill these days. “This is not just to bring them here is their integration in question. Once they arrived, that’s when our real work begins, “says Mr. Mourani.
Recall that the Syriac Orthodox Church of Sherbrooke has a $ million as collateral for the reception of refugees displaced by the Syrian conflict. With this amount, the federal government is authorized to sponsor some 40 families per year. Since December, about 25 families have emigrated in Sherbrooke. Several individuals have already found work or study after learning the basics of the French language, testifies Mr. Mourani. Other families are expected in the coming weeks, he said.
“These people are not poor. There are teachers, engineers, pharmacists. There are people who have jobs and their employability profile is very good. ”
If citizens where organizations want to help, we could do more, also assured Mr. Mourani, which collects the Estrie community very sensitive to the cause.
The man will say also how the needs are great. His church alone receives forty calls using daily. Dozens of refugee claims of the Syrian conflict are waiting for more than a year, Lebanon among others. “We try to calm and soothe. It is our role as a church. But we can not do everything. Our resources are limited. ”
As for Couillard government announced Monday its intention to host more Syrian refugees, Mr. Mourani hope. “I do not know how much it can affect organizations like ours that sponsor refugees. The government talked about a budget of $ 29 million. Do these refugees in 2450 will be more on the government’s behalf? Is he going to house them and find employment? This would be good news because we, we sponsorship for three years and we do not have those means. ”