New Canadians at Cap U

(June 28, 2017) – OTTAWA, ON – See below for a great story from our friends at FACES (First Avenue Churches and Community Embracing Sponsorships) about three new Canadians who are playing the beautiful game this summer as part of our YDP Program:




Our New Canadians Kicking Up a Storm

By Kevan Pipe
Saturday, June 24, is a big day for St. Matthew’s (and FACES) refugee families.   They will be heading out to Lansdowne Park to watch the Ottawa Fury team play the New York Red Bull Football Club. 
Seven young people from the FACES supported families are now playing the beautiful game at soccer pitches across the city, thanks to financial assistance from Canadian Tire, the Ottawa Internationals Soccer Club, FC Capital United and Ottawa Footy Sevens.
Eleven year old Al helw Abdul Rzak from Iraq is playing in the Internationals program at Owl Park on Tuesday and Thursday in south Ottawa.
Our three new friends from the Congo are playing each weekend for FC Capital United at Ecole des pins at Cyrville/Innes Road. 11 year old Diane Umuhoza is enjoying her summer long program along with her brothers, 10 year old Ivan Ntwali and 9 year old Alvin Manzi.
In the meantime, three young men from Burundi who met here in Ottawa, Fabrice Niyungeko, Lionel Ntibaharire and Benjamin Hakizimana are enjoying their Monday evenings at Carleton University playing in the Ottawa Footy Sevens co-ed adult program.
Fabrice, a skilled and experienced player in his own right, states, “The team is co-ed, but the girls are so professional in soccer and we enjoy playing with them! We really appreciate the games as we are in a highly motivated team, each giving a lot encouragement to each other during the matches.”
“We have also had many funny moments”, he continued. “During one of our first games, it was very rainy and my soccer boots were full of water. I shot on goal and my now loose shoe went with the ball! The goalkeeper was momentarily confused as to whether to catch the ball or the shoe.  We all had a good laugh.”
“The soccer program is very beneficial for us and we enjoy playing with others, making new Canadian friends and at the same time, staying healthy. We are thankful for being able to join the team. May God bless all at St. Matthew’s.”

FACES (First Avenue Churches and Community Embracing Sponsorships) is seeking more volunteers and has just launched a campaign to raise $100,000 to extend its programs. For further information, please visit;