A Syrian woman holds her baby after their arrival on a small boat from the Turkish coast on the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos on Nov. 16, 2015. (Photo: Santi Palacios/Associated Press)Woldeyesus was 19 when he fled his home country in 1980 because of a civil war. He spent a few days in Sudan and a few years in Italy before finally being approved to resettle in Canada.
Abukar said winter can be tough for refugees who use public transit and will stand outside waiting for a bus. "I think what also made it very difficult for me was the wind chill. The wind chill was making it worse. In Ontario, sometimes it gets colder and you see snow and all that, but it never gets colder the way that it gets here," he said. Abukar, who is now executive director at the Saskatoon Open Door Society, said sometimes refugees and immigrants don't know what clothes to wear in the winter. The society shows them what mittens and scarves are all about and how to dress for the cold. "We bring nurses or people who can talk about the problems that people can get exposed to if they don't dress properly," said Abukar. "And we even demonstrate how to dress up, how to put those extra layers to make sure that you don't have some of the wet parts of the weather sneak into your body, to make sure that you're not exposed to the cold weather when you're outside." Refugees arriving this winter may find the weather a bit more forgiving. A warming El Nino is forecast to bring milder conditions across much of Canada.
"I think what also made it very difficult for me was the wind chill. The wind chill was making it worse."
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