The young man who came to us from Iraq (via Jordan) in June has had an eventful summer – discovering a new city and a new country, learning a new language and a new alphabet, new currency, figuring out the TTC and mastering how to order at Tim Horton’s among many other things.
He is charming and motivated and loves the neighbourhood. Introducing him to the pleasures of Toronto in summer has made us see the city with fresh eyes and appreciate how fortunate we are to live here.
Learning English is his first priority. He began lessons in basic English with TDSB two weeks after his arrival and then took a month-long intensive course at U of T. With diligence and a LOT of homework he has advanced quickly and is now a Grade 12 student at a high school at the Central Toronto Academy on Shaw St.
This is a major accomplishment given that three months ago he had only a few words of English and that his formal education stopped over 2 years ago when he became a refugee.
For most of the summer, A. lived in a lovely studio apartment in a coach house in the Annex. We are now looking for accommodations for the next year.
Like many groups across the country, we are still waiting to be assigned a larger family of refugees. We look forward to welcoming them, and are so glad that with the generosity of our donors, we are also helping this young man build a new life in Canada.