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December 2017 E-Newsletter
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Celebrating the spirit of Christmas

Dear Friend of CCI,

Christmas is a joyous time of the year. I see it on the faces of the children who are staying at Reception House, often the first safe place for refugees who have arrived in Ottawa after fleeing war and civil unrest.

During the last two years, many Syrian children have called Reception House their first Canadian home. They shared with us heartbreaking stories. They showed us photos of their schoolmates who were killed during the brutal civil war. They showed us photos of their childhood homes reduced to rubble.

At this special time of the year, we want to show the children who are living at Reception House what the spirit of Christmas means, Santa always visits Reception House in December and ensures every refugee child receives a gift.

This Christmas you can make an impact in the life of a refugee child. A donation will help fund numerous youth programs to ensure no child is left behind. Our youth programs give children a chance to learn, have fun and make Canadian friends while adjusting to life in Ottawa.

You can show a refugee what the Christmas spirit means to Canadians by 
making a donation today.

Carl Nicholson

Executive Director
Harrowing escape to safety

Alia remembers the day she escaped Syria and its brutal civil war.

She and her two sons were getting ready to cross the border into Turkey. It was a dangerous time. Others had been shot by snipers trying to cross the checkpoint.

But she knew if she could get the boys across safely, they would be reunited with their father, Mohamad.

Finally, she made the agonizing decision. Thankfully, they made it across safely and they were then taken to a nearby city where they tried to rebuild their lives. But they soon realized life in Turkey was going to be very difficult. Although they were safe, it was hard to find steady work and Syrian children were discriminated against.

When they got the call asking if they wanted to relocate to Canada, there was no hesitation. It took 19 hours and a stop in Toronto before they finally arrived in Ottawa.

It’s been almost two years and a lot has changed. The war is a distant memory for the children. Mohamad, who worked in health care, now stocks shelves at a local grocery store and goes to Algonquin College. Alia has just completed a child care course and is looking for work while she volunteers at the Arabic school. Everyone speaks English and they enjoy discovering their new city and making new friends.

“My life is finished in Syria,” says Mohamad. “This is my country now.”

 
To help newcomers thrive in Ottawa, please make a donation now.
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: Refugees could bring the chaos that afflicts their country to Canada.
Fact: This is a recurring fear in Canada. Throughout the Cold War, people were afraid that refugees from Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and Chile would bring communism to Canada. The fear proved to be unfounded. These refugees had lost everything to escape communist regimes, and they tended to thoroughly reject communist ideology. Refugees arriving from Iraq and Syria today are escaping from the atrocities committed by extremists in those countries. They, more than anyone, have good reasons to reject extremist ideologies and actions.

Read about more myths that need busting.


Make a tribute gift this Christmas

You can show the true meaning of Christmas this year by making a tribute gift. A tribute gift is a heartwarming way to honour a loved one, family member or friend. A tribute gift sends the message that you are committed to helping refugees and immigrants build new lives in your community. You can make a tribute gift on our donation page or by calling Dora at 613-232-9634, ext. 359.
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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