MP Peggy Nash, Parkdale-High Park, Toronto ON
Sivam Sivanesan, Toronto ON
Jozsef, Timea and Lulu
I read your story in Toronto Star and It broke my heart. In my experience I am telling you, you will get free life like me and others in Canada. you are now struggling because your lawyer who does not have feeling for others.
I came Canada as a refugee from Srilanka. Canada welcomed and hugged me with its warmed hands. I am now enjoying free life. Be sure Canada will not give you hardship. very soon you are going to enjoy your life in Canada.
I just called Minister of Citizenship and Immigration on 613 995 8042. No one picked up -may be holiday- I any way left voice message in voice mail supporting to you.
I am going to ask my kids who are in grade 6 and 5 to support you. I hope they will take your problem to their school. I am sure that you will get more support from there too.
Feeling for you
Sivam and Family
Emily Ritz, Kitchener ON
Dear Jozsef, Timea, and Lulu,
Though I have never met you, I am inspired by your resilience, strength, and faith. Friends of mine speak of your kindness and generosity – I hope that one day I myself will be able to meet you in freedom!
As I look outside, I see the sun getting stronger and feel the air getting warmer. I hope that these signs of the changing seasons might also be signs that change is coming for your family. I am sorry that our country – a country that you thought to be welcoming and compassionate in cases of injustice – has let you down. Despite this, I hope that you feel surrounded by warmth and love from the community around you.
With love, and continued prayers,
Alani-Gabriel (Alan) Gascon, student in Biotechnologies, at Cégep de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Québec
A lot of people are talking about you. Tell your parents to keep up the good work. Here, attached to this e-mail, is a paper for them. University students are talking about how our government is wrong ; I hope this can help.
Read the paper here: https://www.academia.edu/4192404/Church_Sanctuary_and_Alternative_Sovereignty
From a Toronto family – Storm, Kio and Jazz
Read blog reflections from the family who sent these beautiful cards HERE
Lizzie Neale, England
It is strange to think over the three years I have known you, my movements have been so free! I have been able to travel to different countries and feel the seasons change on my skin. In that time you have been so still and confined. But have grown so tall and become so wise for such a young lady.
No one or creature should be confined to one place. Where they can’t run with the wind, play in mud and with other people! Despite all this you and your family are courageous, beautiful people who have taught me so many important things about life! But enough is enough! Its time for you to play with friends your own age. Dance in the rain , go to school , swim in a lake and ride that horse you have always wanted !
It is not right what has happened to you.
I will forever be grateful to have met you and your family you have a special place in my heart.
All my love
Michael Wagner, Oakville ON
Dear Ms Lisa Raitt:
I am writing to you today because you are my MP.
I am writing on behalf of the Pusuma family. These are people who escaped Hungary after receiving a severe beating based on racism (they are Roma – what we in English call gypsies). Their refugee claim was denied because of poor lawyering – a lawyer who took their money and did not defend them well.
On the day of their refugee hearing, their lawyer did even not show up.
Our government is seeking to return them to Hungary, a supposedly “safe” country.
My ancestry is Hungarian. I lived in Europe for several years and visited Hungary extensively. I also have friends and relatives there. Hungary has historically been intolerant of minorities (it’s why my father moved here) and, while things have improved some overall, is still not a good place for Roma.
The family left Hungary after a beating. They have since received death threats, saying, in part, “we will enjoy slitting your throats on your return to Hungary”. How can we return them to Hungary with such a threat lying in wait for them?
I ask that you speak to your government colleagues and work to allow this refugee claim to proceed, and allow the Pusuma family to live here freely, in the open, while the refugee claim is proceeding.
If you are unfamiliar with the case, there is a web site with more information here:
Thank you for your time,
My dear child,
Your father and I had dreamt for eight years of one day holding your tiny body, tickling the soles of your feet, show you our favourite places, let you taste our favourite foods, and teach you everything decent, beautiful, useful and for the grace of God. After praying for those eight years, God blessed us and I was able to give birth to you close to my own birthday. I thought you were the most marvellous birthday present.
When I held you, I cried of the kind of joy that I had never before felt. Crying, I thanked God for your life and asked for his help in bringing you up, because I did not really have a mother so I did not know what to do in some situations. I made a promise that I would always make decisions in your interest and give you a firm foundation for a balanced future. I breast-fed you because I had read in books of advice that this would strengthen your immune system. This caused me some pain but I overcame it, and indeed you have not been seriously ill.
Sometime, in the evening, your father played the guitar while I bathed you and you liked that very much. Your father and I ignored tiredness while caring for you. According to aunt Sylvie, the family protection worker and the doctor both said that we did everything in an exemplary manner.
You were very small, seven months old, when you said your first word in the early hours. I was startled to hear a sweet little voice say “good morning”. You were looking at the guitar on the stand next to the bed. You still like musical instruments very much.
You were nine months old when I held your hand to draw a picture with a pencil. I still have that pretty drawing. You took your first steps in a park in central Budapest. Those who were around were very pleased and gave you a round of applause. Every day was a happy one for us. Our family, friends, colleagues and everyone whom we had helped wanted to see us regularly. Our acquaintances wondered whom they should visit, but your great-grandparents decided that the best solution was to visit them. Everyone did just that, and often 20, and sometimes 120 people gathered in your great-grandparents’ garden, with its fruit trees and hundreds of flowers, in order to celebrate you. Many children, adults and old people were thankful for the work of your father and mother.
I experienced, but did not understand and still don’t understand the evil and injustice done to us on that day in July. Why did they hurt us? Who were those masked men and why did they want to chase us out of our home and send us to India, a country we had never even visited? Why did it bother them that we were Roma? After this incident (we won’t give the details of the incident on this page intended for children), I knew that after all my work to fight injustice it was best to take you away from our native land.
In countries neighbouring Hungary such ideas spread like a virus – I saw proof of that every day when I received complaints of rights violations. Most of our friends and acquaintances spoke of Canada positively. What I saw and liked from the stories was that in that country every culture lives peacefully together. Skin colour and religious affiliation do not matter. That is why I chose Canada as my new home.
We left family, friends and our work with a heavy heart. We were fearful to leave our home that we built for years. We intended it for you to have.
When we arrived here, we appreciated from the first moment that we were refugees. The officer heard our story and said: “Your place is here in Canada. We need people like you.” He told us what steps we need to take to reach the authorities.
People recommended a Hungarian-speaking lawyer. We trusted him, told him everything about the reasons we fled Hungary, and gave him the necessary documents. We believed his encouraging words. I was relieved to know that we put our case into suitable hands and that they would represent us well before the authorities. But it did not turn out that way. Even after a year, our Hungarian documents had not been translated into English, we were not represented well, and the lawyer’s work was negligent, incomplete and awful. Because of this, the authorities rejected our claim. After a few years they gave the order to deport us from the country where we escaped the people who had hurt us. On the day we were given the deportation order, you needed to go to the washroom. That was the first time you saw your mother cry. You looked at me and said: “mother, you need to pray every day.” You put into my hand a rosary you had found. That is when I knew I had to put our lives into God’s hands. Let him do with us as he pleases. Let him send us back to our country if that is what he wants. Let him allow us to stay here so that we can start a new life.
Perhaps I am naive to believe in miracles – I don’t care if people look down on me for that – I believe gladly that God’s will was for us to stay here. Someone we know took us to a nun who had become an activist. She examined our documents and said she would help us. She found a lawyer for us who still represents us. And during the same month she found a church sanctuary for us.
Two years and three months have passed since then. Being shut in is very difficult for me and I know, my dear little daughter, how hard it is for you. Forgive me for not being able to get for you the basic things that children of your age need. Forgive me for not being able to show you the small wonders of the world that you would find in a playground or in nature. This made your father sick. We love you very much, and you can see that I cry every evening and ask God to free us from captivity and to continue to give a pure heart to those mothers and fathers who are doing everything for our freedom and safety, so that we, too, can take you places they can take their children – to those who would do what we had to do if their lives had been in danger. I believe that God gave everyone a soul and mind that that be reached. And he gave us the strength to endure. I ask you, my child, to bear this. You will be helped through this difficult time by the love of your parents.
In a few days we will celebrate our two birthdays. I would like to whisper to you and shout to the world that you are the bravest, smartest, most wonderful gift to us. Happy birthday, our dear child.
(Translated from the Hungarian by Peter Hajnal, Toronto, ON)