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January 2018 E-Newsletter
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Help a refugee master our language

Dear <<First Name>>,

It was two years ago this month we received the first of more than a thousand Syrian refugees who were resettled in Ottawa. I would like to give you a short update.

Overall, the Syrians are adapting to life in Ottawa. It's not surprising. Before the civil war broke out, many led lives just like you and me. They had homes, went to work every day, took vacation, spent time with their children and enjoyed their days off engaged in their community.

The biggest barrier for many has been language. For the children, learning a new language has been easy. At school, they are surrounded by classmates who speak English or French. It's no surprise Syrian children are quickly learning the language.

For the moms and dads, it's been a little more of a struggle as there are fewer opportunities to practise. But we are pleased to let you know that more than 85% of Syrian adults were enrolled in language training courses last year. We also run conversation circles where newcomers can practise their English in an informal setting,

Learning English is important if our new Syrian friends are to realize their full potential in our community. Knowing the language will make it easier for them to find a job, access community services such as health care, and make Canadian friends.

Please make a donation today. Your gift will help a newcomer learn our language.

Carl Nicholson

Executive Director
Family of five building new lives

John Matunga is a devoted father who loves his family.

But life in the Democratic Republic of Congo became too dangerous for this family of five. With democratic elections on hold, increasing political unrest and violence, the Matungas knew they had to find a safe home if there was to be any hope for their future.

The number of refugees from the Congo is second only to the Syrians. Like many of the Syrians, the Matungas arrived with very little. They are currently staying at Reception House, the first safe home for many refugees who arrive in Ottawa.

John says the family has been overwhelmed with the help they have received. When they arrived in November, they were outfitted with winter clothing and boots. The two older children are in school while John and his wife Bijou take English classes in the morning and computer courses in the afternoon.

John, who speaks English quite well, was a doctor in his home country. He knows it will be difficult to work in health care in Canada but he says he's willing to take on any job to support his family.

The Matungas are just one of many families who will stay at Reception House this year.

You can help newcomer families by making a donation today.
Busting a refugee myth

There are a lot of myths about refugees and immigrants. It's time to start busting those myths one at a time.

Myth: Terrorists could seek to enter Canada as refugees.

Fact: It is far more complicated, time consuming, and difficult to enter Canada as a refugee than it is to enter as a visitor. Refugee claimants go through thorough screening by both Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP, including fingerprinting and interviews. Any claimant found to pose a security risk, to have engaged in serious criminality, to have participated in organized crime, or to have committed human rights violations is not admissible as a refugee, and risk being detained. It is unlikely that a terrorist would risk undergoing such a process.

Read about more myths that need busting.

The power of monthly giving

Ottawa is a generous community that has supported our work for more than 60 years. Did you know you can have a greater impact by joining our Friends of CCI Monthly Giving Program? A monthly donation provides stability and predictability for you and CCI. It's easy to sign up and is a more affordable way to give that adds up over time.

A monthly donation tells the thousands of refugees and immigrants who arrive in Ottawa every year that they have not been forgotten. 

You can sign up for our monthly giving program by emailing Dora or calling 613-232-9634, ext. 359.
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Catholic Centre for Immigrants

219 Argyle Ave. Ottawa, ON K2P 2H4

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