Jan 14, 2022
Refugee resettlement: Walaa's story
Even during a global pandemic, Lutheran churches across Canada haven’t stopped providing refugees with a new home and caring community through our refugee sponsorship program.
While the pandemic has introduced delays and required all sorts of adaptations to the program, the enthusiasm of churches for this work has been incredible and encouraging!
In October, several congregations in Regina worked together to welcome Walaa with her husband Mohammad and young son Ameer, Syrians who had been living at the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Walaa’s need for resettlement was critical, as she lives with Type 1 diabetes and struggled to access medical care at the camp—and was also 24 weeks pregnant at the time of their flight!
The sponsorship group was able to arrange for a doctor via the International Organization for Migration to travel with Walaa, helping ensure a safe arrival for the whole family.
During her first month in Canada, Walaa required hospitalization three times, but improved significantly thanks to a new glucose monitor, antibiotics, and “because our entire Lutheran community prayed for her like crazy!” according to Meredith Cherland, chair of the sponsorship committee.
In the second month after arrival, as she has regained strength, Walaa has had time to add some personal touches to their apartment—with pink paper in the china cabinet and tiny cups for thick Syrian coffee—and little Ameer turned two. And on November 26, Walaa gave birth to beautiful baby Awsam, who is currently still in NICU but they’re optimistic he’ll be home soon.