Good morning everyone!
Things are going very well with Honada, Said, and their children and with Bukhari.
Bukhari has a new caregiver now, a young Somali man who has been in Canada for 8 years named Mohamed. Mohamed's dream is to become an RCMP officer. However, when he came to Canada, he entered Grade 11 and then had to leave school at the end of Grade 11 in order to provide for his family. He has been working since then. With his new job, supporting Bukhari, and the help of Cynthia Bunbury, he has been able to get enrolled at VCC to do adult upgrading courses, so that he can get a high school certificate. We are working with St. Phillips Anglican church in Dunbar (they are sponsoring Said's Niece and her family) to give him a scholarship for tuition from St. Philips. The other thing that Mohamad needs is Canadian citizenship. There is now a $600 fee to apply for citizenship and Cynthia and I are hoping to provide that for him from our REST account.
Back to Bukhari! He has finally gotten in to English courses at VCC! This has been a struggle because the LINC classes (Government provides these for newcomers) were not adapted for visually impaired. Cynthia has nagged the folks at VCC on and off for this entire time and finally they have admitted him. We find it hard to imagine how refugees with no sponsors are able to get services. It seems that you must fight, or at least phone repeatedly, for every service that you need. So, Bukhari is now taking English, Computers, and Braille. He is working hard. The biggest hurdles for him are his fear of doing new things, as a blind person, and he gets very lonely at times. Mohamed is with him during the week, but he goes home to his family on weekends, so Bukhari has a lot of time to himself. If there are a couple of people who would be interested in visiting, taking him out somewhere, or taking him on Sunday evenings to a blind sport called Goalball, please let me know. He would love to have more visitors. Do not worry about what to say, he will talk your ear off :)
Honada has been starting up her own catering business, with the help of Tillat, a wonderful woman who is part of our group. She now has her Foodsafe Certificate and would like you all to know that she came first in the class for her test! She is an excellent cook and cooking makes her very happy and proud. She has done a couple of dinners for 40 people and finger foods for 120! She has a full menu and price list, which can be sent out to anyone interested in booking with her. As she does not have a vehicle, orders must be picked up from her home.
Honada's kitchen is now trying something new. She is offering Friday Family Dinners, starting this week. The cost is $12 per person, and you can order for 2 people or more. Tillat is going to work with Honada on some menus, so that she can offer Dinner A, B, C, etc, but for the moment, she will begin with her own choice of Syrian items, ready for you at 5pm at Honada's house. Please let me know if you would like to order. I guarantee, it is delicious!
Best wishes to everyone from your REST team!