‘This is a new life’: Winnipeg family buys 1st home, 5 years after arriving as refugees

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A Winnipeg family is starting a new chapter with the purchase of their first home, five years after arriving in the city as refugees.

Nzigire Bwendwa and her family were sponsored to come to Canada in 2012. They had been living in Iraq for three years after fleeing their home in Syria because of civil war.

“Life was not easy as a refugee,” Bwendwa said. “You don’t work, you don’t know what you can eat tomorrow.”

During their first years in Winnipeg, the family lived in cramped quarters in a rented apartment. Bwendwa said they wanted a nice home to raise their three children.

“In the past, we didn’t have a lot of space to sleep,” said Christine Lobea, Bwendwa’s nine-year-old daughter. “My dad used to sleep on the floor and me and my mom used to sleep on the bed.”