On October 15, 2019, Mbitsemunda and Kimonyo arrived at Pearson International Airport, sponsored for their first year in Canada by St. Cuthbert’s Church and St. Augustine of Canterbury Church. It certainly has been a roller-coaster of a year for the two of them. From their first months staying with Bob and Kathi Davies and getting all the paperwork in order, to our group setting up and furnishing their apartment in Scarborough, to getting them enrolled in English language classes, all was going according to plan. And then Covid hit. No more classes. All the rules – all the distancing.
On their own, they managed to find jobs – Mbitsemunda as a housekeeping aide in a retirement home, Kimonyo as a sewing machine operator in a large factory. Mbitsemunda has a Canadian-approved certification from a university in Rwanda, where he taught, and hopes to be able to work at that level again. Kimonyo is a skilled tailor and designer. He has designed and tailored a few outfits for people here, and hopes to make that a future business. In the meantime, he has been making and selling face masks.
While our formal sponsorship obligations now end, along with that financial commitment, I am sure we will continue to remain in contact.
The Refugee Sponsorship Committee
Please complete this form to inquire about St. Cuthbert’s Refugee Sponsorship, to offer skills, time or donations, or to be added to a mailing list to receive updates.