Christmas celebrations were a whole lot different in the refugee camp Mu Go and Moo Aua Go lived in for most of their lives. In fact, there was very little cause to celebrate at all. Access to food, health care, and education was scarce, and without these basic necessities, the siblings suffered. Their teenage brother, Sa Nay, was severely physically disabled and could not walk, and had medical needs that went untreated. His only chance was resettlement in another country.
So, at 7-months-pregnant, Mu Go took turns carrying her brother on her back as the sisters walked for many miles to reach the plane that would bring them to safety.
Catholic Social Services was there as they arrived at the Edmonton airport and set foot on Canadian soil for the first time. We were there to help Sa Nay access medical care, and find a long term care home that could meet his needs. And, we were there when Mu Go welcomed baby Sara into the world.
Last December, a generous Sign of Hope donor approached me with a wish to make Christmas merrier for a family in need. I immediately thought of the siblings and baby Sara, who were celebrating their very first Christmas in Canada with very little to call their own. Imagine their joy and surprise when we arrived at their door on December 23, with full arms and hearts.
The donor and his family had purchased gifts, so they could open something special on their first Christmas morning. The donors didn’t stop there. They also collected food, dishes, housewares, furniture, clothes, and baby items – everything they needed – and filled their cupboards, closets, and home.
The sisters were so very grateful, and in turn, they generously shared their stories of life in the refugee camp, as well as their hopes and dreams for their future in Canada. Mu Go shared that the greatest gift they had been given that year was not their own arrival in Canada, but that her daughter, Sara, was born a Canadian citizen, free from oppression and violence.
This Christmas, I invite you to bring joy to other vulnerable families in our community.
Please, donate today and help us bring joy and comfort to other families like Mu Go and Moo Aua Go.