Flights have stopped, embassy interviews cancelled and sponsorship applications are on hold as Canada and the world grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis has impacted many of Nest’s sponsorships. Here are a few:
A Pakistani Christian refugee family of four in Thailand. Nest originally sponsored this family in 2016. They have been interviewed twice by the Canadian High Commission in Singapore. Both times, their application for asylum was rejected. Nest with the support of the Canadian Lutheran World Relief submitted a new sponsorship application in October 2018. The family was supposed to be interviewed in February 2020 but the interview was postponed until March 25. Then the March interview was cancelled. No new interview will be scheduled until the Covid-19 crisis is over.
Rabia and Musa with their daughter Zahar are Sudanese refugees in Egypt.
A Sudanese refugee family of three, who fled violence and persecution in the Darfur region. Musa, his wife Rabia and their daughter Zahar now live in Cairo. Nest and the Anglican Diocese of Saskatoon submitted the sponsorship application in December 2017, after Musa was attacked and nearly killed by a gang of Egyptian youth. The family was interviewed in February 2020 by the Canadian embassy in Cairo. They were told their medicals would follow. They felt excited, but now their sponsorship is on hold due to the pandemic. “Our daily life here in Cairo is very difficult,” Musa told Nest member Ebtsam Elsheikh. “There are no jobs and the government does not help the situation. The UN only gives us groceries.” Musa believes life will be better in Canada. “We have been told that Canada is safe and filled with helpful people. In Egypt, Sudanese people are not treated with any kind of respect.”
Ghufran (holding daughter), her husband Ahmed and their children are Iraqi refugees in Turkey. They were waiting for news about their flight to Saskatoon when the pandemic hit.
An Iraqi refugee family of six in Turkey. The family’s relatives, the Abod family, live in Saskatoon. More than a dozen people in Saskatoon contributed to the sponsorship of the family. With the support of the Canadian Lutheran World Relief, Nest submitted the refugee application to the Canadian government in May 2017. The family was finally interviewed in February 2020 and had their medicals the same day. They were waiting for confirmation of their flight to Saskatoon. Then the pandemic hit.