Fundraiser in support of Somali family reunification
Murphy's Community Centre
Island storytellers Gary Evans, Dennis King and Alan Buchanan, fiddler Cynthia MacLeod, and Dino & Friends will perform at a fundraising show on October 6 at Murphy’s Community Centre, Charlottetown, in support of a reunification sponsorship for a Somali refugee family. The event is hosted by the St. Dunstan’s Basilica Parish Refugee Committee with funds raised going towards the reunification of three members of the Nuur Family, who are based at Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya.
In 2009, the Nuur family witnessed the brutal execution of their father by rebel troops outside the family home in Somalia. Surviving family members fled their homeland, travelling by foot for seven days through rural Somalia. They eventually arrived at the Kenyan border, where the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) documented them as refugees and transferred them to Kakuma Refugee Camp.
Kakuma Refugee Camp is located in the north-western region of Kenya and is one of the largest refugee camps in the world with more than 164,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers based there. While the camp provides a measure of temporary stability, family members endure hardship there depending on food rations, limited access to medical care and often violent and unsecure conditions, particularly for girls and women.
In 2009, the eldest Nuur sibling, Ubah Ali, came to Canada as a privately sponsored refugee through the First Baptist Church in Charlottetown. As she set about rebuilding her life, she could not forget the siblings she left behind, and so she appealed to St. Dunstan’s Basilica Parish for help.
The refugee committee has worked to raise the necessary funds to sponsor members of the Nuur family to immigrate. It took years for the sponsorship applications to be processed, and during this time, the family expanded from nine to thirteen members. Members of the Nuur family finally began arriving in PEI in 2016 and as of July 2017, ten family members have arrived in PEI.
The St. Dunstan’s Basilica Parish Refugee Committee is now waiting for the last sibling to arrive—27-year old Ruan, and her children. Proceeds from the event will assist in this final reunification effort including settlement expenses.