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Over 10,000 Syrian refugees have made their way to Canada since November, with 15,000 more scheduled to come.         

 

Regina has recently received over 160 Syrian refugees and more are expected.

 

The Regina Open Door Society is a non-profit organization that helps to integrate newcomers into the community. "We were given funding to hire more workers," said Getachew Woldeysus, the society's settlement, family and community services manager.

 

Comparing Regina, a smaller city, to more multicultural cities found in Canada, Woldeysus said, “Regina is a small city, but there is a very large community. Sometimes big cities are more difficult because you have to learn a lot of things.”

 

Although the programs for the refugees are still in the early stages, Woldeysus said, “So far it has been very good.”

 

The Regina Open Door Society is always available to help whomever it can. In the past, the society on average would see about 250 newcomers in a year. This is not far off from the amount of refugees the city of Regina has already seen, with the expectation of more with every coming week.

 

As a non-profit organization, they are always looking for community partners. The University of Regina has a large international community with multiple international programs available. The UR International office is working towards helping with the new Syrian refugees.

 

The university is more than willing to help out, but there is still a lot that needs to be done, according to Shayla Dietrich, who works in U of R admissions. Dietrich said right now the university is trying “to figure out where the education piece fits in the program. We’re meeting with other partners in the city who actually make a plan for when the refugees come to Regina. What do they need, what kind of services do they need.” Dietrich said so far it has been, “us just stepping in to offer to help.”

 

The University of Regina will be meeting with the Regina Open Door Society and other organizations in the coming weeks to put programs together and figure out ways to help.

 

With many Syrian refugees already arriving and living in the city, some programs are just starting to come together. Saskatchewan is expecting to receive around 800 Syrian refugees by the end of February.