For the latest news and information on Catholic Social Services, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. For general information call 780-432-1137. For media inquiries, call 780-439-4673.

Search the blog

One year later, CEO reflects on Syrian settlement

One year later, CEO reflects on Syrian settlement

With many Syrian refugees embracing their new Canadian life, our CEO Stephen Carattini sat down with Jeff Lewis from the Globe and Mail, to reflect on our Agency’s overall experience welcoming these refugees to Alberta since December 2015.

For the full article, visit the Globe and Mail, and below are quotes from Stephen’s story:

On how resettling Syrian refugees was a unique experience from most:

“Normally in a given year we will resettle…somewhere between 400 to 500 refugees. So within 10 weeks we did close to what we would normally do in two years.”

On coping with challenges as they arose:

“There were a lot of pre-conversations that went on around accommodating this influx. I think once they started to arrive, obviously, a lot of our plans had to evolve very, very quickly. There were days when we would go to the airport and there was 30, 40 even upwards of 60 or 70 refugees arriving in a given day.

“We cut a deal with a hotel here in town that agreed to help us take the additional refugees coming in. That presented some challenges. We have to then be providing services at two locations to a significant number of people.”