Members of Rutland Welcomes, a grassroots organization that’s been assisting with resettlement efforts, say four more Syrian families are expected to arrive in Rutland before Sept. 30, 2017.
Members say they heard the news from Amila Merdzonovic, the Director of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program who told them the cases have been confirmed for Rutland, but that few other details were available.
Merdzonovic said she had received few details concerning the families, which she said was not unusual, and that no one is scheduled to travel yet. But she called the news very exciting.
After President Trump’s executive orders, suspending the U.S. refugee program, many believed that the first two Syrian refugee families who resettled in Rutland would be the last.
Christopher Ettori, a member of the Rutland City Board of Aldermen and Rutland Welcomes, says he’s thrilled.
“I think it provides a lot of hope for the city. I think for the two families that are here to have other people who have experienced the same experiences, whether they came through the camps or fleeing their homeland, I think that’s great for the families that are here," Ettori says. "For Rutland it’s exciting to have the opportunity to help a global issue on a very local scale.”
Volunteers with Rutland Welcomes say the first two families have settled in well. Both fathers have jobs; and three of the five children, those who are old enough, are in school.