More Ukrainian families are expected to be make Killarney home by the end of September.
Rick Pauls runs a local restaurant and is working with the Ukrainian-Canadian Congress to get as many families from war torn Ukraine into his home town as possible.
“Right now we have three families here and one family just relocated to Edmonton and we have three more families relocating here in town within the next 30 days. That’s another four children in school and four adults. The request keep coming and we’re still looking for host families to take these people in.”
Pauls says host families would likely have to sign up for a minimum three month commitment and the demand far outpaces the homes available to take Ukrainian families wanting to come to Killarney.
“The next wave of families will see one family staying in my house and the person coming to stay with me actually has 12 years of restaurant experience so that was a natural fit that was referred to me from Winnipeg. We have another family coming that is staying with another family and he has farm experience and carpentry experience. The other family she has cosmetology experience and hopes to find employment in the area as well” said Rick Pauls.
Any families interest in becoming a host family should contact Rick Pauls in Killarney.
“We have a lot of families in Winnipeg looking for places. A lot of them don’t have knowledge of what is in small town Manitoba and our rural communities. Villages in Ukraine are significantly different from our communities out here.”
Pauls adds there’s a mind set Manitoba’s rural communities might not have hydro, indoor plumbing and health services. “When they find out how much we have in rural Manitoba they feel safe and more welcomed. They feel like they’re part of a community.
There remains a need for donations of clothing and household items.
“Last week we had a huge donation from a family in Deloraine and it’s excellent to receive. Words can’t express what this will do for families when they arrive here. When the Ukrainian families leave their country many have said they were given 20 minutes to pack up any belongings into one suitcase and they have their entire family in that one suit case.”
Rick Pauls says the language barrier can be an issue. He points out none of these people were planning to come to Canada so learning English wasn’t a priority.
“Language is the number one challenge and as we get a critical mass of people coming to the area we’ll be able to hire someone to teach them as a group and that’s our goal this fall” said Rick Pauls.
“These people are proud and want to support themselves, they can work and they’re just looking for another chance in life.”