Our Sponsored Syrian Family

Syrian Family Update November 2018   

Our family is well and busy. Ismail and Rola now have three children: Sham ( dob 26th May, 2015), Layan ( dob. 25th of Sept. 2016) and Qasim  (dob. 15th Nov. 2017).

  • Ismail has been working steadily at construction, tiling and snow removal. This past month they have moved to a town house in the NE.

The following pictures were taken in November, 2018.

The pictures with the Prime Minister were taken on National Housing Day, when Ismail and family were invited to attend a gathering to celebrate the government’s commitment to more affordable housing.

Trudeau with.jpg
Amolfi Family with Trudeau.jpg

Syrian Family Update 2018

Our Syrian family, Ismail, Rola, Sham, Layan welcomed a new baby boy in the fall of 2017. Many thanks to all those who have and are still lovingly aiding the family in so many ways. Child care is still an important ministry so they can attend appointments and allows Rola to continue her English lessons. Raj Retnanandan our immigration specialist reported our financial sponsorship is coming to an end and they are self-sufficient. The other members of Rola’s family we were attempting to support have received aid through other channels so our help is no longer needed in that respect.

Syrian Family Update June, 2016

The LUC sponsored Syrian family arrived in Calgary in March 2016. The sponsorship was undertaken by LUC under the Blended Visa Office Referral (BVOR) Program, in partnership with the United Church of Canada. The initial group included the young couple, their infant daughter and the Grandmother. The Grandmother has since decided not to come to Canada due to her family commitments back home. In the meantime the family is now expecting their second child.

As was anticipated the family is receiving Government assistance for 6 months. The Government assistance is being supplemented by funds from the LUC refugee fund. Following the 6 month period LUC has a commitment to support the family from the Refugee fund for another 6 months.

The LUC Refugee Committee of about 25 volunteers have been working diligently to assist the family in settling and integrating into Canadian life. Since the volunteer group includes several persons outside of LUC members the sponsorship effort has been successful at reaching out to those outside the Church community in this instance.

The adult members of the family are attending ESL classes. Ismail is attending classes at the Chinese Cultural Centre, under the auspices of the YWCA. Rola (and Sham) are participating in the Pebbles in the Sand ESL program held at Knox United Church, sponsored by C.I.W.A.

At the moment they are both focused on becoming proficient in English. The family have made useful connections with other Syrian arrivals.

The Arrival March, 2016:

Our new friends from Syria arrived in Calgary on Saturday evening, tired and overwhelmed from several long days of travel. A group of enthusiastic volunteers greeted them at the airport.

Doug Jamieson drove them from the airport to their new home; a beautiful two-bedroom apartment near Chinook Centre, where Sue Spratt and Ron Gillean went through some essential orientation items regarding the apartment building with the aid of our friendly translator, Ehab.

They will spend this week beginning the settlement process with help from our committee members and whatever translators that can be arranged.

Keep watching this page for further updates as time goes on.


January 28, 2016

Are you interested in helping a Refugee family?  Do have feel you don’t have the resources to sponsor a refugee on your own but would like to work with a group?  Lakeview United Church is looking for individuals or groups who would like to sponsor a refugee under the auspices of the United Church of Canada.  The UCC will assist with applications, paperwork, managing finances and general support.  For further information call: 403-242-5760.  Open to everyone, no church affiliation necessary.

Previous Refugee Family, Update 2011

Some years ago, LUC sponsored a refugee family. They have sent an email update for those of you who knew them:

Hi everyone! Thirteen years ago, my family and I walked for the first time in Canada, because God put us on our journey, the Promised Land called Canada. But God also put us on our way, angels of the United Church, who put their effort and money to make us possible to come to Canada. Life wasn’t because we had to leave a country, family and our profession, but here we had the peace we need. After thirteen years, my daughters have managed to succeed in their education, Marcela started the university last year, Mariajose just started high school. My wife and I both have stable jobs and most importantly, we have a stable family based on God. Once again thanks for your support, to the pastor Tom Melvin and every member of Lakeview United Church, God bless you.  Violeta, Jose Luis, Marcela and Mariajose