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Refugees from Iraq living in Calgary since 2005 still on government help

New life for Iraq refugees in Calgary still a challenge as Christmas nears 



More than anything, she’s thankful for the opportunity to raise her family in the safety of Canada.

Arriving in Calgary in 2005 as a refugee from Iraq, the mother of two is grateful for everything her new home has given her — a warm, safe home through Calgary Housing as well as social assistance, which she says just barely covers their basic expenses.

“I get help from the government,” she said.

“But it’s never enough.”

She and her husband both suffer from a variety of health problems that not only keep them from working, but also incurs the family extra expenses.

The woman suffers from a heart condition as well as high blood pressure, while her husband is diabetic and has limited eyesight due to ongoing surgery to correct the eye condition.

The couple requires a special diet to help manage their conditions, which often stretches their already tight budget past the breaking point.

As well, her four-year-old son is asthmatic and has a learning disability, requiring him to attend speech therapy sessions five days a week.

What this family wants most of all for Christmas are items that many of us don’t give second thoughts to.

A bed and mattress for her five-year-old daughter, who currently doesn’t have a bed of her own.

A couch to replace their current one, which is broken and full of holes.

Bath mats.

Shower curtains.

An electric razor so her husband can cut both he and his son’s hair.

Every year, the Calgary Sun highlights local families in need through its Adopt-a-Family program to help match sponsors with those who need help.

While many of us would consider getting a new computer or cell phone to be a very merry Christmas, there are some who see a bed for their child or a clean, sturdy table to eat their meals on as dreams beyond their means.

You can do your part — all it takes is about $200 to give a family in need a Christmas miracle.

“If we were to get help, it would make me so happy,” the mother said.

“You can’t imagine.”

To help, call the Calgary Sun Adopt-a-Family hotline at 403-250-4197.

Helping someone else can be the greatest gift you receive all year.


On Twitter: @SUNbryanpass

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