Preparations underway to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Manitoba

Click to play video: 'Preparations underway to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Manitoba'
Preparations underway to welcome Ukrainian refugees to Manitoba
The owners of Shooters Golf Course are preparing to welcome a Ukrainian refugee family to their trailer park. Global's Abigail Turner explains how it wouldn't have been possible without the support of the community – Mar 29, 2022

Long-serving Winnipeg business, Shooters Family Golf Centre and Restaurant, is preparing to welcome a Ukrainian refugee family.

It’s an initiative that manager Amy Cerasani says wouldn’t have been possible without the overwhelming support of their community.

“I don’t believe they’re aware of the magnitude they’re walking into, and the outpour of support from the community,” Cerasani.

Cerasani’s family also owns the North Gate Trailer Park, where a show home sits empty. She says they decided to take to social media, offering up the space to a family fleeing Ukraine.

In a matter of weeks, the house is now fully furnished, thanks to the generosity of Winnipeggers.

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“It’s been very emotional,” she says. “From bedding, clothing, dishes, groceries, gift cards, ‘Hey we’ll provide dance lessons or piano lessons,’  our community centre has stepped in, like it’s really just a community effect.”

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Soon, the empty house will become home to a Ukrainian mother and her two young children, as her husband and their father stay back to fight in the war zone.

Cupboards are stocked full, even with Ukrainian candies and bathroom cupboards are full of toiletries. Boxes of clothes fill the closets and toys are sitting in awaiting their new owners.

Cerasani says they’re no longer taking donations, as they’ve seen such overwhelming support already from Winnipeggers. Instead, she suggests taking donations to other organizations that are collecting.

Preparations are taking place across Winnipeg to welcome many families in similar situations coming in from Ukraine.

At the Ukrainian National Federation Building, volunteers have been collecting donations for weeks to give to refugees in Winnipeg.

“Every person who is fleeing Ukraine is welcome to come here and grab whatever they need for free of course,” says Anna Karpenko of the Ukrainian National Federation.

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So far they’ve seen 10 families come through.

“Some of them really are starting from scratch, some of them were able to leave with a couple of suitcases.”

The Manitoba government established a special task force led by the Manitoba Emergency Measures Organization, called the Ukrainian Refugee Task Force. The group has been planning and coordinating efforts to help Ukrainian refugees.

The province declined an interview on Tuesday, and instead sent a statement.

“For the families and individuals arriving in Manitoba, the Ukrainian Refugee Task force will co-ordinate and facilitate a full continuum of provincial service supports through necessary housing arrangements, health and mental health care, education, child care, social assistance and labour market assistance.”

Click to play video: 'Challenges in bringing Ukrainian refugees to Canada'
Challenges in bringing Ukrainian refugees to Canada

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