There are more than 12 Million Syrians who have been displaced due to the crisis. About 4 Million of them have fled the country. The rest have been internally displaced with many of them stuck on the borders or in immediate danger. Many groups and organizations have taken it upon themselves to help Syrian people start a new life by sponsoring them as refugees.
The Victoria Refugee Initiative committee is initiated in the Victory in order to sponsor and help Syrian families to start a new life in Canada. The effort is lead by the Oak Bay United Church and is in collaboration with other local faith organizations such as, but not limited to, the British Columbia Muslim Association (BCMA) BCMA Victoria Mosque and St. Aidan United Church.
So far, the committee has raised $56K with the aim of sponsoring 2 families (3-4 members each) or 1 large family (10-12 members).
The committee is in the process of choosing the families to begin the sponsorship.
Note that United Church is a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) in Canada and hence they are entitled to sponsor refugees.
You can help in sponsoring Syrian families through many ways. The following are some actions you can take immediately:
- Donate towards the fund that is allocated to sponsoring Syrian families. You can do this through any of the partner organizations including the Oak Bay United Church and the British Columbia Muslim Association.
- Volunteer to help with specific skill-set that can benefit new refugees, such as medical, educational, logistical, etc…
- Sponsor a specific need of new refugees, such as housing, furniture, clothing, transportation etc…
If you have any questions or would like to help, please contact the Victoria Refugee Sponsorship Committee spokesperson Gaye Sharpe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATES – November 17th, 2015: