Coming from a war-torn country where staying alive is a daily struggle can be an unimaginable experience for some, but for others it’s a reality.
Today 2,300 refugees have made new homes in over 45 B.C. communities. On this World Refugee Day, Syrian refugees are adapting to their new lives in Prince George. Most didn’t know a single word of English, but Syrians in Canada are doing their best to understand says Program Manager at IMSS Prince George, Sharon Pannu. “”Right now we are providing that training for them here and we have a special class only for the Syrian families which we are able to do through a qualified teacher.”
That qualified teacher is Rose Tohme who arrived to Prince George as part of the first English speaking Syrian family. She says her classes are making a positive impact already for her fellow refugees. “Even the alphabet can be hard for them to pronounce or to write, but now I can see them writing, they can speak, and they are doing pretty well.”
On average, British Columbia welcomes 37, 000 new permanent residents each year, including 1,600 refugees. The province is spending one million dollars towards the Refugee Readiness Fund, along with one and a half million dollars to help with job training through the Canada-B.C job grant.
40 Syrian refugees now call Prince George home with the IMSS anticipating more Syrians to arrive this fall.