CRYSLER – A Liberian refugee family benefited from activity at Crysler’s annual Christmas Craft Sale, this past Saturday (Nov. 5).
Organizers with the 6th annual event revealed that Crysler’s Refugee Support Project Committee received the family into the village on Sept. 13. Diane Blais said the family with children — who are still camera shy at this point — lived as refugees in the Ivory Coast for 13 years. Proceeds of the sale will go toward the community’s share of sponsorship for the family, who now reside in Crysler.
She said the group was given a list of refugee families to choose from, under the federal program. Only one Syrian family was on that list but had already found a place in Canada. So they selected the Liberian couple.
“They were francophones that had an interest in living in a rural community, so it was a really good fit for us.”
Various local initiatives to bring refugees to the area have been ongoing since the end of 2014, in the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis.
The sale featured 47 vendors at 67 tables, drawing 320 visitors by mid-morning alone. Blais and another committee member sold hand-painted wine glasses and took orders for poinsettias and Christmas planters at the committee table set up especially to assist the refugee initiative.