Winnipeg – Restoring Hope To Refugees

When Al Meslamani, his wife and four children fled Syria in 2013 after a rocket landed in front of their home they did not know what the future held for them. With no home, no money and no one to turn to it looked like they were staring down the barrel of a gun, but by some miracle, they found their way to Winnipeg, Canada which is now their new home.

Winnipeg is the capital city of the province of Manitoba situated 100 kilometers from the American border. In recent years it has made headlines all over the world for its liberal stand on refugees, especially those from Syria. While the rest of the world is running scared not knowing what to do with the increasing influx of Syrian refugees Winnipeg is busy turning itself into a second home for thousands of stranded and displaced Syrians. The most unique thing about all this is that while in other countries Refugees get bundled into camps awaiting month long vetting processes. Winnipeg posts its refugees into any available jobs in the city, this allows the refugees to fend for themselves rather than depending on others making them feel more at home and more accepted.

In return, the refugees have banded together contributing the little they get to support each other, especially new Syrians who come into the country, helping them with the settling down and the learning of the local language.

Despite all this, common problems still persist, high rent for instance. For most of these refugees it is very difficult to find affordable rentals in Winnipeg and therefore they are forced to cost share with other refugee families in small apartments and this, more often than not, is a primary source of discomfort and feuds, but still that is way better than living in a camp with rationed water, food and other basic amenities. Winnipeg is doing everything it can for the refugees and that’s laudable.

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