When Thuy Nguyen was simply 12 years previous, she left her native nation of Vietnam and boarded a South Korean boat searching for a secure place to name residence. After residing in a refugee camp for two months, Nguyen arrived in Canada in 1975, the place she and her household have been in a position to construct a brand new life.

Greater than forty years later, Nguyen is paying it forward by taking good care of others fleeing struggle searching for a steady residence and a peaceable life. For the previous 12 months, she and her partner Michael Adams have been mentoring and supporting the Noumans, a household of 9 from the embattled metropolis of Homs, Syria.

UNHCR/Annie Sakkab

Mohamed Nouman (backside proper) poses together with his household and sponsors Thuy Nguyen and Michael Adams on the boardwalk of a Toronto seaside.

In accordance with the UNHCR, Mohamed Nouman, his spouse, and 7 youngsters arrived in Toronto in January 2016. Since then, Nguyen, Adams, and a small group of mates have stepped in to assist the Syrian household alter to Canadian life ― from discovering the youngsters an excellent faculty within the space, to taking them to medical doctors’ appointments, and serving to them study a brand new language. 

Nguyen informed The Huffington Put up that her largest dream for the brand new household is for them to be blissful of their new nation. 

“My father at all times stated that it’s not typically that you may have a big effect on any person’s life. So when you’ve an opportunity to do it, you need to attempt,” she informed HuffPost.

The Noumans got here to Toronto as a part of a Canada’s private sponsorship program ― the one one among its form on the planet, in line with the UNHCR. This system was developed below the administrations of former Canadian prime ministers Joe Clark and Pierre Trudeau within the late 1970s, initially to assist resettle refugees these uprooted by the Vietnam Battle.

Underneath this system, citizen sponsors decide to offering fundamental monetary help for the refugees’ first 12 months within the nation, or till the refugees develop into self-sufficient. The sponsors additionally assist refugees with duties like discovering a job, studying English or French, and opening a checking account.

Michael Casasola, a UNHCR Resettlement Officer in Canada, informed The Huffington Put up that greater than 275,000 refugees have come to Canada by this program.

UNHCR/Annie Sakkab

The Nouman youngsters play on Michael Adam’€™s Vespa.

All through the applying course of, Nguyen and Adams obtained assist from Lifeline Syria, a Canadian nonprofit that helps sponsors resettle Syrian refugees within the Toronto space. Frank Palmay, chair of the group, informed The Huffington Put up that the minimal requirement for sponsorship of a single refugee is $12,600. For a household of 9 just like the Noumans, it’s $40,000 ― an quantity Nguyen and her accomplice raised with the assistance of about 130 family and friends.

Palmay stated that there was a surge in curiosity in sponsorships within the fall of 2015. He linked that uptick to the haunting photograph of Alan Kurdi, a Three-year-old Syrian refugee whose physique was discovered washed up on a seaside in Turkey.

However because the battle in Syria continues on, with no foreseeable finish in sight, Palmay stated that the problem now’s to maintain Canadians and motivated to assist.  

“We’re attempting to re-motivate folks once more, as a result of the human tragedy of Syria is past creativeness,” he informed The Huffington Put up.

UNHCR/Annie Sakkab

Thuy Nguyen and Narjes Nouman alongside along with her household at a park on the Toronto Islands throughout a day picnic with sponsors.

The Noumans’ lives have modified drastically since they left Syria. In accordance with the UNHCR, the household was trapped inside their home in Homs for days, afraid to go away due to bombs. 

Mohamed Nouman, the household patriarch, informed the UNHCR that he determined to flee for security as a result of “I didn’t need my youngsters to see demise.”

The Noumans fled to Lebanon after which Jordan. They lived in Amman for 2 years, the whole household sleeping in a single room of an residence. 

Now that they’re in Canada, Narjes Nouman, the eldest of the household’s seven youngsters, stated she lastly feels secure.

“It’s actually fantastic to be with your loved ones surrounded by security,” Narjes stated in a UNHCR video. “There is no such thing as a one to assault you want in Syria. Once we got here to Canada we felt higher.” 

UNHCR/Annie Sakkab

Thuy Nguyen and Narjes Nouman spend time at a seaside in downtown Toronto.

For Nguyen, sponsoring the Noumans was a method to assist people who find themselves looking for a similar alternatives her household longed for thus a few years in the past. After settling in Canada, she and her 15 siblings went on to attend school, finding careers in medicine, architecture, and finance.

Nguyen’s aim now’s to offer the Noumans a “security internet” as they alter to life in Canada. 

“I’m certain there’s nonetheless nervousness, however it takes among the nervousness out of the method, simply figuring out there’s one other household there,” she stated. “And in the event you want one thing, you possibly can name and ask them.”

She appears to be like ahead to seeing the youngsters go to highschool. She desires to attend their commencement events and their weddings. And he or she’s wanting ahead to witnessing their lives change for the higher ― similar to hers did.

“There’s one thing concerning the means of coming to a different nation and having to depend on your self, one thing about that course of that basically makes you extra resilient.” 

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