Welcoming the Stranger – a heart-warming story

The Integrated Regional Information Networks [IRIN], formerly an award-winning humanitarian news and analysis media network for the UN, has, since 2015, operated as an independent, non-profit media outlet.

It has a global network of more than 200 local correspondents, editors and analysts, with an intimate knowledge of the humanitarian sector.

On 14 July 2016 it published an inspiring story of Canadian compassion towards a Syrian refugee family, reflecting an outreach from which much of the Western World can learn. IRIN Contributor, Brynna Leslie, author of the piece, states: “While Europe shored up its borders in the wake of record arrivals of refugees and terrorist attacks in 2015 and racist rhetoric became a feature of US presidential campaign, the Canadian government struggled to find and screen sufficient numbers of eligible refugees to meet the demand of willing, welcoming sponsors.”

This is the story of the arrival and welcoming of a young Syrian mother and father and their two daughters in

The body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose family were hoping to eventually reach Canada.
The body of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose family were hoping to eventually reach Canada.

Canada on 31 December 2015 and their welcoming at Ottawa Airport by 38 people who were the family’s sponsoring group. It is the story of how a small group of people, moved by the image of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi lying face down on a beach in Turkey earlier that year, decided that they would take responsibility for one Syrian refugee family. Aylan died, along with his mother and sister, fleeing the war in Syria and hoping to eventually make their way to Canada.

The article also highlights the challenges involved with the integration of refugees.

In a world when we witness so many distressing scenes of human suffering caused through war and manmade disasters, we need to be reminded that there is still great goodness in our world. We need to hear the stories of hope that inspire us to extend our hearts and minds to make this beautiful world, God’s generous gift to all, a better place for everyone.

The full story can be read here


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