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Group shot, employees wearing red RRITC t-shirts: Caroline Drouin, CN Director of Workforce Planning, Johanne Cavé, Senior Counsel, Christine Deschamps, Insurance Manager, Marie-Andrée Vaillancourt, CN Retiree

As CN Railroader in the Community Caroline Drouin watched footage of the hardships facing Syrian refugees, she felt compelled to act. Together with CN colleagues Johanne Cavé, Senior Counsel, Christine Deschamps, Insurance Manager, CN retiree Marie-Andrée Vaillancourt and other friends and family, the group decided to welcome and support a refugee family of five from Syria.

“When I read their story, I knew we were doing the right thing: giving a whole family a second chance at a decent life,” says Caroline, Director of Workforce Planning based in Montreal, QC. “They struggled for two years in a refugee camp in Jordan, and feared for their safety.”

Caroline and Johanne worked with Missions Jésuites, a church organization, to prepare for the family’s arrival in Montreal. After completing a great amount of paperwork, the team focused on finding and preparing the family’s new home.

Caroline Drouin, Director of Workforce Planning, seen here with the Syrian family her team is supporting.

“Caroline and her sister Mylène found an apartment, I reached out to my network to furnish the place, and Christine and her spouse – who are both handy – made the place welcoming and cozy,” recalls Johanne. “Marie-Andrée researched opening a bank account, getting social insurance and health insurance cards, registering the children for school and the parents for language classes.”

“You get back a thousand times what you put in,” Caroline says, adding that the CN team has built a special bond with the Okla-Ataya family.