A Syrian family is set to begin a new life in Winnipeg today sponsored by the faculty, staff and students of the University of Manitoba.

The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences raised a $35,000 sponsorship fund, collected furniture, household goods and clothing for the family of six.

The Hamidi family includes a husband, who is a pastry chef and baker, his wife, and their four sons, who range from 7 to 13-years-old. The family went from Syria to Turkey and are flying to Winnipeg from Toronto.

Alan Katz, director of the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy leads the Rady Faculty of Health Science Refugee Response project.

Katz says the faculty will also help the family find a place to live, enroll in school and access health services.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Hamidi family after more than a year of organizing and anticipation,” Katz says.

“I have been deeply moved by the outpouring of generosity toward this family, from our campus and beyond. So many Manitobans have reached out to contribute to the sponsorship effort. This is a wonderful demonstration of compassion and inclusion, which are key values that we uphold in educating health professionals.”

The family is expected to arrive at Richardson International Airport today.