004 Testimonies


Good Shapherd Parish, Thornhill
A Sponsor’s Experience
In 2011, Luciano Moro initiated Good Shepherd Parish Refugee Committee's partnership with the Office for Refugees (ORAT), leading us to assist a refugee family. With Pastor Father John Weber's support, we welcomed a family of six in 2016, celebrating Easter together. We prepared meticulously, gathering donations and securing housing through parish efforts. Upon their arrival, we facilitated school registrations and daily meals. Despite challenges, the family flourished, with the father finding employment and the children excelling in education. Our ongoing support, including financial guidance and emotional assistance, has fostered a strong bond. Today, the family thrives, with children pursuing higher education and meaningful careers. We remain grateful to ORAT and our community for the opportunity to make a lasting impact.
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Burundi Refugee Story
A woman from Burundi found sanctuary in Sudbury in 2022, fleeing violence akin to Rwanda's tragic history. Protesting against her President's unlawful third term led to persecution by police and militias. Amelie fled after witnessing a brutal shooting, seeking refuge with family in St-Michel but facing continued threats. Alone and undocumented, she embarked on a perilous journey to Uganda, enduring hardships and relying on strangers' help. After seven years in a refugee camp, she resettled in Canada, warmly welcomed by volunteers in Sudbury. Grateful for their support, she now studies English and aspires to become a Personal Support Worker, finding hope and a future in her newfound home, thankful for the kindness of the volunteers and the people of Canada.
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Refugees Camp in Uganda


Arriving to Canada
Liliane's Inspiring Journey
I'm Liliane Safi, born in Bukavu, Congo, to a nurse father and homemaker mother in a large, joyful family. After earning my Information Technology Degree in Kinshasa, war separated me from some siblings, who remain in a Malawi refugee camp. Fleeing to Thailand with my daughter, we found refuge through ORAT during a church event. With ORAT's help, we connected with the Archbishop of Toronto, leading to our journey to Canada. Arriving on July 6th, 2023, we received a warm welcome, securing a furnished home, financial support, and connections. With assistance, my daughter enrolled in school, and I pursued employment. Grateful for ORAT's support, I extend my deepest thanks, profoundly moved by the kindness received. Reflecting on our path, I hold everyone in my heart with prayers for their well-being, overflowing with gratitude.
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Faisal and his Son Refugee Story
My name is Faisal, and I've transitioned from being a refugee to finding a new home. After nine years of uncertainty, Canada welcomed me with open arms, thanks to the assistance of ORAT. Back in Iraq, I led a happy life as a business owner with a loving family, until violence and persecution forced us to flee in 2013. Enduring unimaginable sorrow and loss in Thailand, ORAT offered hope and guidance. Now, in Canada's welcoming embrace, my son and I have found safety and opportunities for a better life. I've secured employment, my son attends school, and we've been warmly embraced by our new community. Grateful for this fresh start, I aim to pay it forward by supporting other refugees. Thank you, ORAT, for giving us hope and a new beginning. To read more click on More Info below
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Faisal & son


Refugees on a Boat
Salome’s Refugee Story
My name is Salome, a Syrian refugee resettled in Canada with the help of the Catholic community in Toronto. In March 2011, I stood up for political reforms in Syria, facing threats and arrests. To protect my family, I fled to Lebanon, enduring hardships as a refugee. With support from ORAT, I applied for resettlement to Canada, a process that took over two years amidst political turmoil and personal dangers. Finally, in 2023, I arrived in Canada, embraced by a caring community and sponsors who helped me settle in. I'm grateful for the safety and opportunities here, hoping to build a new life, find work, and eventually reunite with family. Each day, I'm reminded of the kindness and humanity of those who welcomed me, giving me hope for a brighter future. To read more click on More Info below
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Ruben's Refugee Story
My name is Ruben, and I arrived in Canada in 2022 as a newcomer. Thanks to the support of the Archdiocese of Toronto’s Office for Refugees and the community of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church, my family and I received assistance during our initial months. Originally from Lahore, Pakistan, we faced persecution from Islamic militants after attending prayer meetings in rural villages. Seeking asylum, we endured hardships in Thailand until selected for private sponsorship to Canada by ORAT. In September 2020, we faced arrest in Thailand but were miraculously released. Finally, in fall 2022, we arrived in Canada with hopes of contributing to our new community and raising awareness about refugee persecution worldwide.
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A Man Praying


Roseline’s Refugee Story
My name is Roseline, a mother from Lahore, Pakistan. In 2022, sponsored by the Archdiocese of Toronto, my family and I arrived in Canada as refugees. I share our story to shed light on the plight of voiceless refugees, hoping to offer renewed hope. Threatened by extremists in Pakistan due to our Christian faith, we fled to Thailand in 2014. With expired visas, we lived in constant fear of arrest or deportation. Eight years of hardship followed, but our faith sustained us. In 2019, representatives from the Office for Refugees visited Bangkok, offering hope. Through their efforts, we were sponsored by a church in Toronto. Despite setbacks due to COVID-19, our immigration application was approved in 2022. Now in Canada, we feel safe and supported. I pray for the refugees still in Thailand, hoping they find refuge like we did.
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Samuel Refugee Story
Samuel Josef, a Pakistani refugee, arrived in Canada in 2022 with his wife, Suha, and sons, Mat and Ian. Facing persecution as a Christian in Lahore, Samuel fled after being targeted for his association with a coworker accused of blasphemy in 2013. Forced to leave Pakistan, they sought refuge in Thailand, enduring harsh conditions without legal status. Despite having UNHCR refugee status, Samuel's wife and son were detained in 2015. In 2019, representatives from the Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto visited Thailand, leading to sponsorship by a Catholic parish in Canada. After a lengthy process, they were resettled in Canada, where the parish community welcomed them warmly. Though adjusting to their new life is a journey, Samuel remains grateful for the kindness shown by their sponsors, while praying for those left behind in Thailand and Pakistan.
Person standing in front of a cross