On a chilly winter evening in December, Edris Mohamad arrived in Peterborough from Sudan. With the help of kind community members who left warm winter clothing and a beautiful welcome sign at his front door, he felt the warmth of Peterborough, regardless of the frigid temperatures.
Entering into a two-week quarantine at the NCC Reception House, Edris stayed strong and took advantage of every opportunity provided. He kept busy with Arabic books and spent the afternoons watching English videos on YouTube to learn the language. He even returned to his favourite elementary school subject – art – after decades. Using simple art supplies provided to him, Edris sketched objects he noticed around the house and drew beautiful designs in gratitude to Canada and those who have supported him. His art has been a source of light and inspiration.
His Caseworker provided orientations to life in Canada and registered him for essential services and documents, including a Social Insurance Number and Health Card. Learning the language was important to Edris, so the NCC conducted the necessary language assessments and helped enrol him into ESL classes at PACE. He attends classes each weekday, making improvements while building his community.
One of the challenges that emerged was finding suitable permanent housing for Edris. After a long three months of searching, the community came to the rescue. An NCC volunteer connected us with a community member who warmly welcomed Edris with a safe place to call home.
Five months into his life in Canada, Edris is already bringing people together, even when we’re apart.
This story was originally shared in the New Canadians Centre Annual Report in May 2021.