December 2016 update

Our Syrian family, the Baroodys – Osama, Mouna, Batol, Firas – would like the congregation to know how much they have appreciated all the help – from drives to emotional support – the congregation at Wellington Square United Church has given them as they adjusted during the past year to a new life in
Canada. The family is preparing to embark on their own as our support will soon come to an end. Throughout their first year in Canada, all the family attended ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. As well, Batol and Firas enrolled in additional English classes at Sheridan College this summer. Currently, Batol attends York University and Firas is enrolled in high school with plans to enter university in the near future. As well, Firas played star quality soccer this summer with a local soccer team and currently has a paper route. While Osama is unable to work at this time, Mouna is interested in afternoon light housekeeping work, following her morning English class.
Anyone wishing to help her find this work should contact Ruth Thoem at

Update on the Baroody Family

Now that our Syrian family – Osama, Mouna, Batol and Firas Baroody – are settled in the Burlington community, enjoying their own apartment, successfully learning English, and participating in Canadian society (Firas plays on a local soccer team for 18–21-year-olds), they are ready to take their next big step. Like other newcomers to Canada, they would like to find full or part-time work.
The refugee committee is hopeful members of Wellington Square United Church will know of potential jobs that are suitable or contacts that might help the family in their search. Osama’s English skills are limited and requires work where there is very little communication; Mouna speaks some English and is interested in cooking or kitchen work; Batol and Firas speak excellent English and would like to find jobs that would help them continue to improve their English-speaking skills. Currently, both are attending English classes at Sheridan College and will be available for full-time work after classes finish in mid-August.
For further information, please contact: Jan Simpson at

An update on our Family…

Batol and Firas Baroody are enrolled in Sheridan College’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program and begin classes this week.
Sheridan has been helping newcomers improve their English language skills for more than 40 years and this program
offers the Baroodys a valuable steppingstone to whatever profession they eventually choose to enter.
The program will give Batol, 21, and Firas, 18, specific training that develops their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as well as their knowledge of English grammar. Located on Sheridan’s Oakville campus, the program will also provide them with a first-hand look at what life is like on a Canadian college campus.
In recent weeks, they have learned how to navigate Burlington’s bus system on their own and will travel back and forth from Burlington to Oakville by bus and GO train, relying less on volunteer drivers than they have needed to in the past.
Thank you to the Wellington Square community and volunteers.

Update from the Refugee Coordinating Committee

The Refugee Coordinating Committee is reaching out further to help Government Assisted Refugee (GAR) families from Syria. These families are in need because they lack the emotional and financial support that Wellington Square United Church, and other churches and private sponsors, have provided to families such as our Syrian family, the Baroodys. Government assisted refugees are struggling to address basic needs while adapting to a new language, cold weather and lack of support. This week, members of Wellington Square’s refugee committee organized food items for 10 of these families, all foods that Muslims use to prepare for the month of Ramadan, a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability which begins June 6 and continues until July 5. The foods include pistachios, cashews, madjool dates, hummus, Tahini, dried raisins and apricots, halal meats of chicken and lamb.
The plan is to continue these donations on a regular basis. If you would like to contribute, please contact Jan Simpson at