25,000 Syrian Refugees are coming to Canada by March 2016 and 2,500 – 3,000 of them will be arriving in British Columbia. Forty per cent of the new arrivals will be children under 18 and will require settlement and community integration support as they adjust to their new life in Canada.
United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo is launching an urgent community fundraising appeal to help these children and families settle in our region. Money raised through United for Refugees will support Refugees and Friends Together (RAFT) in the safe arrival of families and 12 months of support including housing, food, emotional support, community inclusion and connections such as healthcare and employment services. It will also support Kamloops Immigrant Services (KIS) which will be offering wrap-around services to the families such as crisis and trauma counseling, language training and social opportunities.
For many refugees, escaping the harsh realities of their country is just the first step in a long journey. Once they arrive in Canada, their new life will be overwhelming. To address these challenges, United Way will be supporting RAFT and KIS as well as other local non-profits who will provide related supports and services for refugees.
United Way will be matching donations to United for Refugees up to $10,000.
“One of our national focus areas is Strong Communities and we are committed to helping ensure our communities are prepared and able to welcome Syrian refugees and they have adequate supports required to adapt and thrive in Canada,” says Danalee Baker, Executive Director of United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo.
Donations are now being accepted online at unitedwaytnc.ca/refugees