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Long road to reunion on P.E.I. almost complete for refugee family of 13

Wednesday September 20, 2017

Fundraiser in Charlottetown to support efforts to bring remaining three 'home' to P.E.I.

'I feel like I have a home here,' says Uba Ali (right) with Dan Doran of the St. Dunstan's Parish Refugee Committee. (Angela Walker/CBC)

Ubah Ali of Charlottetown dreams of one day reuniting with all 12 of her family members on P.E.I.

Her father was executed by rebel troops outside the family home in Somalia, during a civil war in the African country. Surviving family members escaped, and Ali ended up in a refugee camp in Uganda for nine years.

"As a single mother, I came to Canada in 2009," said Ali, who has eight children. "Since then, I feel like I have a home here."

Ali and her children came to Canada as a privately-sponsored refugee through First Baptist Church in Charlottetown.

"I really love it, except my first winter was hard! I hadn't seen snow," she laughed.

Help from St. Dunstan's

Ali approached St. Dunstan's Basilica Parish to help her sponsor the rest of her family.

The parish accepted, and in 2012, undertook to sponsor the rest of her brothers and sisters, said Dan Doran of the St. Dunstan's Parish Refugee Committee.

They've been successful in bringing most of the family to P.E.I. in the last year and a half — now, only Ali's sister and her two children remain.

"Hopefully within the next two months, we will get notice that they will be ready to travel," Doran said.

Privately-sponsored refugees are the complete responsibility of the sponsor, who must cover 100 per cent of the family's expenses for the first year, Doran said.

'Quite costly'

"It can be quite costly."

That's why the committee has organized a fundraising show for Friday, Oct. 6, at Murphy's Community Centre in Charlottetown called From Kakuma to Canada.

It'll include storytelling by Gary Evans, Dennis King and Alan Buchanan, and music by Cynthia MacLeod, Jon Matthews and Dino Dunsford.

Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door and can be purchased through Canada Helps, here.


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