When Fahad and Mara arrived in Victoria, their faces were blank with exhaustion. The endless flights combined with 2 sick children, had sucked all emotion from their bodies. Or was it the years of fleeing war, of refugee camps, of fear and desperation? Their physical bodies had arrived in their new home, but their hearts had been broken and left behind in their home country. Picking up the pieces and starting over seemed like an insurmountable task. Where would they live? Would they be accepted? Would there be work and a community for them? How would they learn a new language and support their children in becoming Canadians? Who would help them with all these challenges?
The answer is simple: The Cridge Centre.
Over the years we have welcomed many families like Fahad and Mara’s – families that have faced incredible violence, fear, and deprivation. We have seen the brokenness and have welcomed them into our community, providing a home, support and a place to belong. Slowly, over time, we see them healing, learning and finding hope.
One of the first opportunities we offer our refugee families is to have their children placed in our childcare. It gives the parents the chance to concentrate on their mountain of tasks and allows the children a safe and welcoming place to play, learn a new language, and become integrated into Canadian culture. Very often the children learn to speak English first and then help their parents to learn as well. As the children play and make friends, the healing begins. As the parents see their children adapt, hope begins.
Your support is giving hope to a family – and healing the broken pieces.