NEWSCAST - Monday, March 11th, 2019
- A former Western University Nursing student is using her experience admitting a Syrian refugee family into a hospital as inspiration to further look into the life of an immigrant family.
- Sara Calvert had to use Google Translate and other methods of communication with a Syrian family who had brought their sick child into the hospital.
- Calvert recalled one of her nursing professors, Abe Oudshoorn previously sending out an email looking for research assistants for a study on the experiences of newly settled Syrian refugees. After reaching out, Calvert was thrilled to learn she could use the study data for a master's thesis on Syrian refugees’ experiences of social cohesion.
- Oudshoorn and colleagues began research into Syrian refugees’ resettlement conditions in 2017. Concluding in 2018, the year-long initial study examined the resettlement experiences of 17 Syrian refugee families located in London. The study is currently being reviewed for publication.
- Last January, the researchers received a $95,000 grant in federal funding to follow over 51 families in London, Fredericton and Calgary for another four years, after the preliminary results provided new insights and prompted further questions.
- The families surveyed were government-assisted refugees, receiving federal support for the first year before becoming more independent. It looks at factors like the families’ conditions throughout this first year of independence, which reveals significant concerns. Calvert carried out secondary analyses of the results to take a closer look at the families’ state of social cohesion.
- The researchers explained families were placed in two-bedroom apartments regardless of the number of members, which came up to eight in certain cases. Some expressed safety concerns related to letting their children outside, due to issues of crime or drug use, while others reported issues with landlords who were making unfair or illegal demands. Some families had apartments with either rodent or insect infestations, or weren’t wheelchair accessible.
- While most were still looking for better long-term housing, Oudshoorn explained all the families expressed significant thanks and gratitude to be in Canada. Many had left their homes six to seven years ago and had been on long journeys of displacement within Syria or other countries before finding a new home.
- Most participants expressed that Canada did or would someday feel like home, mainly attributing this to a sense of safety and kindness they experienced since their arrival.
- Calvert explained the families were able to learn about Canadian culture through newcomer workshops and could access most health care services in a timely manner, accepting mental health care. All children were enrolled in school, and parents were provided with the opportunity to attend English language classes.
- The participants did report discrimination from landlords and peers, an the financial aid the government is doling out is often times not enough.
- Above all else, the language barrier formed the greatest obstacle to integration. Participants who could not speak English struggled to find employment, form social relationships, change housing and access services. Transportation issues, such as inaccessibility to bus routes, made the situation worse.
- The recent grant is for a second five-year study; four years of data collection and one year of analysis that will allow Oudshoorn and colleagues to look at how the refugee families continue to adjust over time.
- Oudshoorn hopes the study will provide an in-depth understanding of why some families do better or worse than others in the long-term.
- The money will support the local research teams in London, Fredericton and Calgary, and compensate the families for their participation.
- It’s the seven days London has been waiting for — JUNO Week.
- The biggest week in Canadian music kicks off today with events running all week long through the downtown core.
- The side stage at Budweiser Gardens will also feature big acts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
- Hockey fans will get their fix Friday night for the annual Juno Cup, which features former NHLers Doug Gilmour, Gary Roberts and Olympic medalists Natalie Spooner and Sarah Nurse.
- The Juno Cup Jam is set for Thursday night at Rum Runners, which will feature collaborations with musicians and athletes who took part in the Juno Cup.
- Ben Kowalewicz, lead singer of Canadian rock band Billy Talent, will MC the gala dinner on Saturday night at the London Convention Centre.
- Performers at the gala include four-time JUNO nominee and Sarnia native Donovan Woods.
- Ahead of Sunday’s Award Show, Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle will host the Songwriters Circle at Centennial Hall, which will feature collaborations between artists and discussions about the inspiration and process behind their favourite songs.
- During the week, Dundas Street will be closed between Talbot Street and Ridout Street as organizers set up a tented area for programming.
- Twelve-time nominee Sarah McLachlan will host the award show Sunday, JUNO Fest will be on Friday and Saturday nights at various venues throughout the city, and the JUNO Comedy show is set for Friday at 7 p.m. at the London Music Hall.
- Sunday’s award show gets underway at 8 p.m.
- Fourth-year middle Kelsey Veltman totalled a game-high 25 kills and 32 points in Western's closely contested 3-2 loss to the Waterloo Warriors in the OUA bronze game this Saturday afternoon.
- Melissa Langegger also had a strong game for the purple and white, adding 13 kills and 11 digs on the afternoon to help Western's cause, while Carly Kimmett chipped in with 12 digs.
- Waterloo's attack found its footing once again in the fourth, while a handful of attack errors from the Mustangs allowed the Warriors to win by a 25-23 margin and force a fifth set.
- Western began the final set with a promising scoring stretch behind the efforts of Veltman, but a 9-3 run from Waterloo down the stretch would ultimately give the Warriors the 15-9 win and the bronze medal.
- With the loss, the Mustangs end their season with a fourth-place finish in the OUA playoffs after finishing second in the OUA West division standings throughout the regular season.
- This afternoon will remain partly sunny as we reach our daytime high of 2 degrees and things stay mainly clear overnight as we drop back down to -7.
- Tomorrow we have a high of 4 degrees with a mainly sunny sky and Wednesday it gets even warmer with a high of 7 degrees with a mainly cloudy sky.