Local refugee family marks six months in Fort McMurray

It is 322 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Since that time, around 100 refugees now call Fort McMurray home. Among them, is the Bandurko – Kazantseva family, who arrived in Fort McMurray six months ago.

The family’s harrowing journey from the city of Melitopol, Ukraine, to Fort McMurray was marked by blood-chilling experiences and long waits.

From having a Russian tank aim its turret at them as they held their 4-month-old baby, to having to wade through mountains of red tape as they applied for refugee status in Canada, the family finally arrived at the Fort McMurray Airport on July 11, 2022.

Sponsored by Fort City Church, Artem Bandurko describes his time here as a wonderful period.

“These six months passed like a fairy tale… Canada took care of a lot for us,” said Bandurko.

The Bandurko-Kazantseva family says they find Canadians, and the people of Fort McMurray extremely helpful and friendly.

As for their next six months, the family plan on being more active, finishing college, seeking work, and continuing to make plans in Canada.

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