“Every year more than 20,000 people come to Canada as refugees, people for whom life in their home country is no longer safe. Many arrive and ask for asylum, others are brought here by the Canadian government for resettlement, and roughly 4,000 of them are sponsored by Canadian citizens. Many of those private sponsorships are undertaken by churches and civic groups. In 2006, retired teachers David and Margaret Hall, both 72, joined forces with retired archival assistant Wilma MacDonald, 72, and Robyn Osgood, 46, partner in Blueprint Public Relations, and many others in Kitchissippi United Church and the Ottawa International Y Service Club to sponsor a Sudanese refugee family.
The article, printed by Postmedia News, originally appeared in the Ottawa Citizen on June 18 2011, tells the story of Molly Kokole, a Sudanese woman living in refuge in Egypt with five small children. In 2006, she was granted claim to come to Canada, and in August 2006 the people of Kitchissippi United Church (then Northwestern) fell in love with the Kokole-Yoseke family.
The article hints at the struggles that thousands of refugees face every year; the arduous process of finding a safe place to live, and a way to support themselves and their families. To date, Kitchissippi United Church has brought two families to Canada. In 2011, we made a decision to support the claim of a third family, also Sudanese living in Egypt, to come to Canada. In 2012, their claim was denied and Kitchissippi is now supporting this family as they make their way from Egypt to Uganda, where life will be safer.
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