Connected by Caring —


   In the wake of a mass exodus of Syrian refugees making long and treacherous journeys to a new life, Canadians opened their hearts, homes, and wallets to help resettle. These are the faces of the driving forces in the community of Prince Edward County, helping a large refugee family of 15 smoothly resettle to life in the county.


The aim of the body of work was to convey each of their roles in the resettlement process, from real estate agents helping with housing, to a young high school student aiming to help welcome the young refugees to the schools in the area.

Shot for The Toronto Star
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The Bay Bridge


The connection to the island community Prince Edward County, population approximately 25,258 
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Al Koudsi

Came to Belleville from Syria in 1974 via the United States and is helping with translating for the family.


“All the refugees want is a safe place and work hard to be productive members of the community,” said the father of three, who runs a gas station/convenience store in Picton.

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Alex Tse

The high school student who got the school board and other schools in the county involved.

“I feel a lot of us would like to contribute but didn’t know how,” said Tse, 14. “We are planning a welcoming party for the kids coming to school here. We will team up and offer them tutoring lessons.”

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Bill Roberts

Prince Edward County councillor Roberts and his team helped in finding the Syrian family a home, getting local hardware stores donating reno materials, doing the reno and securing donated landscaping services.

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Carlyn Moulton

The gallery owner and former documentary producer spearheaded this project.

“We just rolled up our sleeves and worked fanatically,” she said. “We can’t solve the problem of Syria, but we can act to solve the problem for one family, two families.”
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James Hartford

The Picton real estate agent helped in securing a home for the Syrian refugee family.

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 Retired health promotion consultant Marianne Kobus-Matthews, who heads the project's community support services committee poses for a photo at the Picton Library on October 21, 2015.
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Marianne Kobus-Matthews

The retired health promotion consultant heads the project's community support services committee 

“We all knew it’s not something we would need to do for a couple of months only. It’s not a feel-good thing but a huge commitment,” she said. “Our efforts are not going to end the war in Syria, but I’m confident we can help one family or more to rebuild their lives in Canada.”
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Robin Baranyai

A community journalist who heads the project's fundraising effort.

“I wasn’t surprised by the reaction by the community. There was heightened awareness and this sense of urgency.”
People in the community would stop her on the street and in supermarket, to make a pledge to donate to the project, which raised $60,000 in less than four weeks. “I’m just overwhelmed by the generosity of the community.”
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The Bay Bridge


The connection to the island community Prince Edward County, population approximately 25,258 
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