Ecumenical Project Update


After 5 months of French classes, our 1st family is now able to get by sufficiently well and thanks to the openness of Mme Louise Ménard and her policy of helping all immigrants at her stores, both Samer & Thaera have jobs at the IGA on Sir Wilfrid Laurier: Samer at the restaurant counter, barbequing chickens, preparing sandwiches, and serving customers, and Thaera in the bakery department. Also, with the help of our volunteers, Samer is practicing driving in the hopes of getting his driver’s license soon. Our 2nd Syrian family, which arrived on June 1st, began their French classes at the end of August: Mom Lina & 22-yr old daughter, Carol, full-time at level 1, while 24-yr old Christine, whose English & French was already quite excellent, part-time at level 6. In addition, Christine also succeeded in finding herself a part-time job at the Jean Coutu across from Place Longueuil. She aspires to become a veterinarian and is already being mentored by a local St. Lambert vet. The 12-yr old boys from both families, Majd & Georges, enjoyed a fun-filled week in Magog at the Scouts summer camp, compliments of Scouts Canada. All 3 children are now at school: 10-yr old Leen in the regular grade 5 class at École Préville, & both boys in the Classe d’Acceuil at Antoine Brossard High School. If all goes well, Majd is hoping to be fluent enough in a few months to transfer to St. Edmond High School so that he can continue pursuing learning violin there. Georges, who spent all summer riding his bike on the streets of St. Lambert, was enchanted by all the activities during the St. Lambert Days Festival and when he got a “hole-in-one” 4 times in the mini putt game, he was so thrilled because, believing he had won 4 bicycles, he wanted to donate them all to the children in our next family, our soon-to-arrive Iraqi family of 7. As it turns out, he had actually only won 4 chances in a draw for one bicycle, and in the end it was someone else’s name that was drawn, but bless his heart of gold! Lucyna Szpak