An Iraqi refugee family could be calling Sooke home by March.
The family of four, who has been displaced from their home town of Mosul, Iraq, is now in Lebanon and awaiting its final interview in December.
“It’s a big step in the process,” says Sharon Sterling, a spokesperson for Team Sooke/Juan de Fuca Refugee Sponsorship committee.
The paperwork so far has taken a lot of hard work and patience on behalf of all the volunteers, and it’s still possible something could go wrong in the interview, but Sterling noted the latest update is “very good news” for everyone.
“This process of sponsorship has proven to be both demanding and at times nerve-wracking, but the family inspires us by their resilience and determination to make a better life for themselves,” said Sid Jorna, chair of the Team Sooke/Juan de Fuca Refugee Sponsorship.
Details of where the family will stay in Sooke hasn’t been determined, and the sponsorship group won’t look for housing until the family has passed its interview and know for sure its about to be booked on a plane, Sterling said.
Despite the painfully-slow process, Sterling pointed out the family has been patient and grateful for the efforts being made to bring it here.
“The [family] is really understanding and so grateful, every time we talk to them we are impressed by their resilience and even their sense of humour,” she said.
The sponsorship’s fundraising efforts have paid off as well, as the committee is just $3,000 away from meeting its $50,000 goal, a chunk of which was donated by the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area.
Sterling said after they put out a wish list of needed items, Sooke and Juan de Fuca residents “responded tremendously” with handfuls of stuff. One resident even offered to match donations of up to $1,000.
Those willing to show their support can visit Team Sooke/Juan de Fuca Refugee Sponsorship’s table at the Sooke Fall Fair, which will include Middle Eastern recipes inspired by the Syrian family itself.
For more info, please go online to teamjuandefuca.ca, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This story has been edited from its original version.