Our experience over the last six months has taken many twists and turns. When we started on this journey, we were seeing refugees fleeing Syria in the most desperate circumstances. We knew that Canada would be accepting 25,000 refugees in a short time frame.
We assumed that there would be a great need for sponsors for these families. However, a different process was used for the government assisted refugees and sponsoring groups like us were pretty much left out in the cold.
From Syria: a mother and two daughters
The UC national office suggested that we consider private sponsorship. Our friends at the Catholic Church put us in touch with Father Noufally. He is supporting Christian refugees in Beirut. Through him, we agreed to sponsor a mother and 2 daughters. These applications are a massive time consuming undertaking. Many of their documents had to be obtained from Syria and translated into English and certified as accurate. The applications have been submitted. It is estimated to take about eight months to complete processing.
From Iran: a mother and son
Just as this was taking place we received a notice that a BVOR family (blended sponsorship), a mother and 20 year old son from Iran needed sponsorship. In the past, these families are were usually already chosen before we could indicate our interest. Amazingly, in this case we were successful. Our Undertaking to Sponsor has been submitted and we will expect them to arrive in 3 – 6 weeks. We have a plan for accommodation and we’ll be able to use some of the furniture and household goods that have been collected.
Can you help?
The cost of the flights to bring this family to Vernon is not covered by the government. The family will have to take out a loan that will need to be repaid. This is a huge burden to people that come to Canada with no assets. If you are able to help, please make a donation to the Refugee Fund.
It looks like we are moving ahead!
Trinity Refugee Team