Syrians Nour Ramadan, her husband Wael Alajjan and daughter Tala began their new lives in Canada Friday, October 15 after arriving at the Vancouver International Airport thanks to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program with ISSofBC and Vancity Credit Union.

“Today they land in Canada. Today, a tremendous change takes place: this family will shed away the Syrian refugee status and instead become newcomers to Canada,” said Danny Ramadan, an accomplished author and Nour’s brother who she had not seen for many years.

Danny, a former Syrian refugee himself, worked with ISSofBC’s private sponsorship program to sponsor the family so they could be reunited in Vancouver.

The sponsorship was made possible with the support of ISSofBC and their designation as a Canadian Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), with 100 per cent of funding from Vancity.

Not only did Vancity provide funding, ISSofBC staff also engaged a group of the credit union’s employees to provide them training as volunteer settlement mentors to take on the role of welcoming, settling and supporting the family as they integrate into Canadian society.

“Thanks ISSofBC and Vancity a lot for believing in and trusting in us”, said Nour. She said she’s very grateful to all of the volunteers and Vancity staff who the family met over Zoom and Whatsapp, providing encouragement over the last two years. “I am very grateful for this support because it has given a new beginning for me and my family.”

Currently, Nour and her family are quarantining at home due to COVID-19 protocols. Nour said she feels relieved and happy the family has finally made the journey to Canada and she’s looking forward to going out and seeing the people and the world around them.

ISSofBC has set up a unique five-year partnership agreement with Vancity to co-sponsor one privately sponsored refugee family each year.

Interested in donating to our Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program? Learn more