Nest Secret Garden Tour raises funds to support and sponsor refugees

Nest hosted its annual Secret Garden Tour on Sunday. It featured two new Canadians. Brady Ratzlaff/Global News

Every year, Nest hosts the Secret Garden Tour showcasing some of Saskatoon‘s most beautiful green spaces.

The event helps support and sponsor refugees looking to start a new life in Canada. Nest has been doing this for over 20 years.

For the Javid refugee sisters, it was a long road to get to Canada.

“It took us about two years for the whole process,” said one sister.

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They say it was worth it.

“People here are very friendly,” said the other sister. “I feel like they are much more connected, too. Everybody knows everybody. People are very kind, polite, and friendly.”

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Nest brought 29 refugees to Canada in 2018, a feat that required a lot of dedication.

“It was a challenge, for sure, to meet the needs of that many people and settling them in Saskatoon,” explained Nest Secret Garden Tour committee chair Noreen Donald.

Nest is limited in how many people it can sponsor due to financial constraints. That’s where the tours come in.

“People really appreciate this tour,” Donald said. “People appreciate the cause and seeing a variety of gardens, getting ideas for their own gardens.”

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As for the sisters, they’re enjoying the greenery.

They arrived in Canada in December 2018.

The process took two years to finally go through after being accepted. Only a small number of applicants get sponsored and aided in their move to Canada.

The pair left their home country in the Middle East nearly a decade ago and have faced many challenges since then, including one they’ll have to face again.

“We tried our best to prepare ourselves for winter,” one Javid sister said.

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Donations for the cause can be made on the Nest website.

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