N.S. government shuts down drop-off centre for Syrian refugees
Published Wednesday, December 30, 2015 7:35PM AST
Due to the overwhelming flood of donations for Syrian refugees, the Nova Scotia government is shutting down its drop-off centre early.
The centre in Halifax is closing 25 days before schedule.
“We were overwhelmed by the amount of support that we've received from Nova Scotians over the last couple of weeks,” said Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Lena Diab.
The donation centre was closed Wednesday, but inside volunteers continue to work, organizing the thousands of pieces of clothing and furniture that have been donated over the last few weeks.
Donations continue to pile up outside, but at this point, organizers are asking people to only drop off warm winter clothing or toiletries.
Forty-seven Syrian refugees have arrived in Halifax since Dec. 16. The latest arrived Wednesday night.
“We're good. We're excited. This is a really nice country,” said one Syrian refugee through a translator. “We're feeling more comfortable here.”
There’s also the challenge of finding jobs.
“It's a challenge right across the country,” said Gerry Mills of the Nova Scotia Immigrations Services Association. “What's great about Nova Scotia is that you're actually twice as likely to be working in your field … than any other province.”
After the recent snowfall, Syrian children marveled at the opportunity to play outside.
“I can see that in their faces that they're playing, happy, and before they were crying a lot,” said a refugee through a translator.
The donation centre will be open one more time on Tuesday, Jan. 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Matt Woodman.