A Syrian refugee mother walks with children in a camp in the Turkish town of Yayladagi in Hatay province, Turkey, Sunday, June 26, 2011. Displaced Syrian people are still making their way into Turkey across the porous border, to escape confrontation between the Syrian regime forces and militant rebel forces. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Knowing that hundreds of Syrian refugees will soon be settling on the Island, P.E.I.’s Acadian and francophone community wants to know what it can do to help greet and integrate these newcomers into society.
Several organizations from the Island’s French-speaking community, including the Coopérative d’intégration francophone (CIF), RDÉE Prince Edward Island and the Centre d’éducation chrétienne, will jointly host two public information sessions specifically on this topic.
The issue will be looked at from economic, social and Christian perspectives.
The first session will be held Monday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the theatre at the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean in Charlottetown.
The second session will be held Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Centre scolaire-communautaire Évangéline in Abram-Village.
Snacks will be served.
Both sessions will begin with an overview of the situation in Syria, explaining why so many people are seeking refuge in Canada.
Next, CIF executive director Jacinthe Lemire and two immigrants who’ve been living on P.E.I. for many years – Dottie Daly (a former American who is now one of the CIF’s co-ordinators) and Zain Esseghaïer (member of the P.E.I. Muslim Society who is originally from Tunisia) – will speak about the importance of welcoming and integrating refugees.
They’ll then discuss myths versus truths about refugees.
Most of the presentations will be given in French; a few people will share their perspective in English.
Among the other partners of the information sessions are the Wellington Rural Action Centre, the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of P.E.I. and the Diocese of Charlottetown.