By Sandra Holmes
On Saturday, April 21, Clearwater Sponsorship Group held a lasagna dinner fundraiser for the refugee family expected to arrive in Clearwater sometime in the next six months.
About 40 people came together to enjoy delicious food served by cheerful children in a happy atmosphere created by children’s art work and lively chatter.
Guest speaker Dr. Kayode Bamigboje gave an informative talk about the challenges of being a newcomer to a community where he is almost the only black person.
Originally from Nigeria, he has been working as a physician in Clearwater since late summer, 2017.
He commented on the fact that he does not experience overt racism but there is still implied racism as, although English is his first language, people are impatient with his accent. He commented that he is a devote Christian and always works to the best of his ability for his patients.
“In Nigeria, the main illness I treated was starvation and malaria. Here the illnesses are different so I have to ask more questions about the symptoms in order to understand what is wrong,” he said.
After Dr. Bamigboje’s talk, a Youtube video entitled What Is A Refugee? was played and a discussion followed. Rojeh and Rodan, who have lived for the past two years in Kamloops and are the sons of the family Clearwater is sponsoring, talked about their lives since coming to Canada and the lives of their family as they wait for their turn to come.
A phone call to say hello came from Abdul Aziz and Bayan, the first Syrian family Clearwater sponsored two years ago.
As part of the event, art work was donate by Hailey Jones and Norma Watt and offered for raffle. The evening was a great success, raising $1,230 as a result of this generous community’s effort.