New Beginnings Interfaith Support Group

We are an Interfaith Refugee Support Group comprised of Dunbarton-Fairport United Church, Pickering Islamic Center and Pickering Village United Church. Our mission is to work to bring refugees to Canada in need of a new beginning. We are asking your help to make that happen!  Like us on Facebook:

We are excited to welcome our first family to Canada.  Meet brothers, Teame and Amine:

Our Story By Teame and Amine as told to Jim Blakelock and Craig Bamford 

We have a father and mother and our eldest sister who still live in Kinin, Eritrea a village of 300 in a mountainous area approximately 70 miles west of Asmara, the capital of Eritrea.  Our father is 71 years old and is a farmer.  Our eldest sister has 5 children.  Her eldest boy is in university in Britain.  We also have a sister living in Switzerland and another sister living in Sweden.

As children, we worked hard on our parent’s farm, where they raised goats, cows, sheep and hens.  We grew sorghum, maze and other crops and as teenagers we spend many hours helping our father plow the fields with oxen. 

In Eritrea, I (Teame) completed 12 years of school plus one year of university studying psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, mathematics and English.  Amine completed 11 years of school.  Starting in grade 5 our schooling was in English. 

I (Teame) am 40 years old and my brother Amine is 27.  For 11 years I have been living in Dadaab, a refugee camp of 450,000 people in northeast Kenya.  My brother (Amine) has been there for four years.  Before that, we were both in Ethiopia; however, in that country there were agents of the Eritrean government who would kidnap citizens and take them back to Eritrea, either to prison or to fight in the army, so we were not safe there.  

In Kenya, we were required to live in the Dadaab refugee camp and weren’t free to work outside of the camp. In Dadaab, we had a small business, a bar serving the administrative employees of the relief agencies operating the camp including Care International, the Red Cross and OXFAM , which kept us busy.  But we were still not free to work in Kenya without problems.

Through reading and friends, we found enough information to believe that we could be free and safe in Canada.  Almost 3 years ago, we applied to come to Canada.

We are now anxious to start work. First priorities are to upgrade our English skills, learn computer skills and learn about Canadian business procedures.   

We want to thank all those who have helped us to come to Canada and hope to meet you sometime to thank you personally.  We also want to thank everyone for the warm welcome!