The Refugee Committee is continuing to explore ways to pressure the Canadian government to bring in approved, privately-sponsored refugees, as promised. Our family was approved in March and should have arrived this fall, at the latest, but we have had no further word.
The Refugee Committee has written Victoria MP Murray Rankin, asking him to help expedite the family’s case.
The single LGBTQ Iranian woman we are sponsoring is settling in Victoria.
“Sunny” is independent and already has a basic knowledge of English and is currently taken additional courses to improve her skill. From there she will pursue her education at the university level.
She is living in the Victoria home that has been prepared for our sponsored family.
The three-bedroom suite in the Gordon Head neighbourhood has been painted, furnished and the cupboards stocked.
The family of six, two adults and four children, fled for their lives to Turkey in May, 2013. Their three-year-old daughter has lived nearly her whole life in their tent in the refugee camp in Turkey.
We have sufficient funds to support both the family and the gay refugee. Christine Johnston, with the Refugee Steering Committee, is working out initial budgets for the family and the gay refugee.
The cost of food and rent is rising, and we don’t know if extensive dental work will be needed. Therefore, we may engage in further fund raising before our year of sponsorship ends, if the need arises.
Life in the refugee camp is difficult. Each family lives in a tent with one room, divided between the food preparation area and the living/sleeping area by a blanket. There are 25,000 people in the camp, with men’s and women’s shower and toilet facilities for every 100 tents. Most families have at least four children. The sanitary facilities are in poor condition, and all the water comes from water tanks. There is one doctor per 5,000 people and in case of emergency, if the ambulance is unavailable, patients are carried on someone’s shoulders to the clinic
If you wish to help sponsor you may use your credit card (indicate Refugee Fund). You will receive a tax receipt.
We understand that many of our members and friends are not in a position to contribute financially. If you wish instead to contribute time and talent, please explore the options by emailing Christine Johnston (phone 250-385-5444) or emailing Susan Layng (phone 250-370-2247).