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

Motionball hosts first-ever university marathon of sport at UBC Okanagan

Motionball is a national non-profit that raises awareness and funds for the Special Olympics

Annual SunRype Okanagan Marathon celebrates 25 years

The marathon took over downtown Kelowna and features runners from across the globe

Rain in forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap region

Mixed bag of clouds, sun and showers forecast for the week ahead

PPC party discredits its former Kelowna-Lake Country president’s past accusations of racism

Daniel Joseph left the party in March and is now an independent candidate in the riding

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Summerland council agrees to 30-year lease with steam railway

Tourist train has been operating as an attraction in Summerland since 1995

Speeding a concern on Summerland streets

Police observe fast motorists in town and on Highway 97

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

VIDEO: Meet your Kelowna-Lake Country candidates

All seven Kelowna-Lake Country candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

VIDEO: Meet your Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

Most Read