In recent weeks new and existing groups across Canada have been coming together to work with the government in coordinating Canada’s response to the estimated 4.3 million refugees from the Syrian Civil War. As of today, Canada intends to accept approx 25,000 – 30,000 Syrian refugees with an objective of resettling families on Canadian soil in the first wave by the end of February 2016.
The City of Burlington organised a public meeting at Mainway Recreation Centre on Dec. 1, 2015 where a wide range of individuals, organisations and faith groups from Burlington expressed interest in helping resettle refugees.
St Luke’s Anglican Church was one of the groups already intending to sponsor a refugee family. St Luke’s has previously sponsored refugees to Canada going back to the 1980s. Under the auspices of the Anglican Church of Canada, St Luke’s Anglican Church is able to accept donations and provide tax receipts to donors, and has an extensive organisational support network.
At the public meeting and subsequent meetings, other groups and individuals volunteered to take part with St Luke’s in a wider alliance to fund at least one refugee family to resettle in Burlington or nearby.
We have therefore decided to call this new group ‘The Burlington Downtown Refugee Alliance” to work together to resettle at least one refugee family in Burlington or nearby.
Things will move very fast in the days ahead.
The first objective to achieve it to submit an application to sponsor to the Canadian government.
By sponsoring, we will be committing to provide the funds and support necessary to enable a refugee family to live in Canada for their first year as permanent residents.
That means, we have to provide a wide range of support for people who will initially depend on our group for everything to do with their new lives in Canada.
We will need money, volunteers, transportation and ideas and suggestions for a thousand different items.
Please help us as we aim to make a family’s arrival and first years in Canada a fantastic positive experience of welcome after the hardship of being forced to leave their homes.