VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

A woman who shared a video of two Eritrean children reacting gleefully to their first Canadian snowfall says the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the clip is reaffirming her faith in the country as a welcoming place for newcomers.

Rebecca Davies shot the video on Saturday, 48 hours after the children shown in it arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings as privately sponsored refugees.

In the video, the seven-year-old girl and five-year-old boy twirl, dance and revel in the snow shower in the backyard of Davies’ Toronto-area home.

The clip has since garnered nearly two million views and been shared thousands of times on Twitter, often with accompanying hashtags and messages welcoming refugees in general and the children in particular.

Davies, who helped sponsor the Eritrean family through the private Ripple Refugee Project, says the video’s reception gives her hope.

She says she encounters racism and anti-immigrant sentiment in her work on behalf of refugees, but says the positive responses to the clip have left her feeling more confident about the society the family is eager to join.

“When a universal, lovely little vignette of kids playing in snow gets this kind of response, it gives me some hope for humanity,” she said in a telephone interview.

Baloney Meter: Is flow of asylum seekers at Canada-U.S. border a ‘crisis’?

Davies said the Eritrean family landed in Toronto on Thursday, bringing an end to a lengthy saga.

She said the single mother fled the war-torn east-African country in 2013 and spent the next five years in a refugee camp in Sudan. Two of the four children who accompanied her to Canada were born in that camp, Davies said, adding all the kids are under the age of eight.

The family’s first full day in Canada was marred by steady rain, limiting opportunities to explore Toronto, which they plan to call home. Conditions didn’t seem too promising on Saturday either, with high winds sending daytime temperatures plunging to near the freezing mark for the first time this season.

Davies said her family had tried to explain the concept of snow to the Eritrean newcomers. So when flakes began unexpectedly descending from the sky, she lost no time in pointing them out to the family.

The two youngest boys stared out the window in fascination, but the eldest boy and his sister appeared to run away after the first look outside.

Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

GALLERY: Remembrance Day around the Elk Valley

Despite the cold, locals gathered by the hundreds to pay their respects

Teck hosts Elk Valley water quality open house

Teck Resources held a water quality open house on Tuesday, October 29… Continue reading

Former Cairo, Egypt resident wins 2019 Elkford business awards

Ahmed El-Maddah of Elkford B.C. is a long way from Cairo, Egypt,… Continue reading

Local super-woman wins Sparwood Community Spirit Award

Karen Sheets has won the Sparwood Chamber’s Community Spirit Award for 2019.… Continue reading

Hosmer hosts first craft fair in approximately five years

On Saturday, November 2, the Hosmer Community Hall hosted a craft fair… Continue reading

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read