Haida Gwaii Sponsorship Joys and Sorrows

We are totally grateful to the generosity of Haida Gwaiians and folks from all across British Columbia, Canada and even the United States. Your donations have helped the Sirhans with dental treatments and medical trips to Vancouver. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

Successful Dental Surgery
With the assistance of our local dentist, we flew Aya, Shahid and Alaa out to Vancouver in early February to have their dental surgery with a paediatric dentist. After almost nine hours, the dentist fixed a total of 38 cavities, some gum disease and infected teeth.

New Leg for Douaa
On January 12, Douaa flew to Vancouver with Hassan and she received her new walking leg! Here’s a video link to the day she was fitted her new leg.

This little 5-year-old girl is determined to walk again. Since her return to Haida Gwaii, she is able to participate in dance classes, PE and independently check out the equipment at playgrounds.

Our Next Steps
Shahid will fly off again to Vancouver as she now has a medical appointment with an orthopedist at BC Children’s Hospital on March 27.

Both Shahid and Douaa were injured in Syria when the rocket hit their house. According to the doctor, Shahid needs multiple knee surgeries to correct her bone growth till she is a young adult.

Douaa will also need to eventually head off to Vancouver for her paediatric dental care in the next few months. Hassan and Lama had undergone a few dental treatments to fix cavities and infections.

Condolences

Our sincere condolences to Hassan, his parents and siblings who are still in Syria. His older brother Abdullah and another White Helmet volunteer died on March 20 when their vehicle was hit by a missile.

Abdullah was the Director of the Syria Civil Defence in Dara’a. He and hundreds of White Helmet volunteers work so hard in saving lives. Abdullah left behind his wife and five young children.

Here is White Helmet’s tribute to Abdullah on the Syria Campaign page. It is sad to see that the civil war in Syria has impacted many innocent lives.
If you would like to learn more about The White Helmets, you can check out their website or view the 40-minute documentary “The White Helmets” on Netflix. This documentary recently won an Oscar in February. Syrian cinematographer Khaled Khatib was denied entry to the U.S. to attend the Oscar ceremony.

Hassan’s heart wrenching interview about his brother Abdullah was aired this morning on CBC’s Daybreak North. Here’s the link to the web story and sound recording – http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/haidagwaii-refugee-in-mourning-after-brother-is-killed-in-targeted-attack-1.4037130

 

donatebutton

 

Copyright © 2017 Operation Refugees Haida Gwaii, All rights reserved.
Thanks for supporting our new Syrian friends.

Our mailing address is:
Operation Refugees Haida Gwaii
Box 807
Queen Charlotte, BC V0T 1S0
Canada

Add us to your address book

 

Newcomer Arrival -The Galiano Experience

newcomersOur greeting group were so happy with how plans turned out at the airport and getting back over to the Island. The four newcomers completed their border checks in record time and were in the International Arrivals Lounge before we even knew it! There they were… lovely R in fashionable black puffy parka and cornrow braids, E taking easy charge of his little sister, and serene and grateful M. They had been traveling since Sunday and so were exceedingly tired. We opened up the clothes bag and were grateful for Anna’s provisions for all. The scarves they wrapped around themselves immediately – staying warm will be a challenge!

Setting out, we stopped at the outdoor vegetable market in Steveston where M elected to get out of the car and have a look around while E helped pick out familiar-looking vegetables. Then all rallied with a trip into Winners for shoes, socks and other necessaries. The ferry line-up proved a good place for the two women to catch short naps in the car while E and Bruce shared some Chinese food in the concourse.

Once back on Galiano, Diana and I went in to orient them somewhat to the house. It will be perfect for them and what a wonderfully well-stocked kitchen Janice has provided! Before we left for the night, M put on her long patterned African skirt, gathered R, D, Diana and me into a circle and said a prayer of thanks for their safe arrival and their warm welcome. What a wonderful day!

Tomorrow Jan and I will go over in the morning and Quetzo and Janice will go over in the afternoon. A schedule will develop as we begin to see their needs and how each of us with our unique skills can fill these needs. Stay tuned!

Thanks to everyone for the parts you have played in ensuring our progress thus far. Lots of learning still to do but we are so happy the start of their time here has gone so very well!

by Marian Lowry