Nanaimo multicultural society supports refugee process

NANAIMO – Groups in Nanaimo are working to bring Syrian refugees to Canada.

The ongoing civil war in Syria has forced millions to flee the country in search of a better life.

And with no end to the civil war in sight, a handful of groups in the Harbour City are hoping to bring refugees to the Island.

Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society executive director Hilde Schlosar says those who want to sponsor a refugee should do so with an existing group, such as a church.

“We suggest that you get involved with a group that exists already and help them as part of the sponsorship group or their wider volunteer and fundraising needs,” she said.

According to Schlosar, there are more than five groups within the Nanaimo region that are working toward sponsoring a refugee, including Brechin United Church.

Schlosar says people should contact the society, which will then put them in touch with one of the numerous groups involved in sponsoring a refugee.

“There are quite a number of groups that already exist … and if they are interested in joining a sponsorship group or starting their own group, they can connect with us and we will connect them with the groups.”

Sponsoring a refugee is a complicated and time-consuming process. Under the Canadian Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program there are three main types of sponsorships: privately sponsored, joint assistance sponsorship and government assisted.

Groups of five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents, who are over the age of 18, can sponsor refugees through the private-sponsored program. Legally, sponsors or sponsorship groups must commit up to one year of basic financial support and care for a refugee.

“It requires a significant amount of money and commitment for a year when they are here…” she said. “Some sponsorship groups have been waiting as long as a year and a half for their refugee to arrive.”

While the financial support can be a daunting task on its own, sponsors need to consider even the smallest details, such as trying to ensure everything from respecting and honouring the refugees’ religious customs to helping them integrate into Canadian society. The multicultural society provides settlement services for refugees.

Schlosar says if people don’t want to sponsor a refugee, there are other ways to help out.

“There are opportunities for volunteers to assist groups in fundraising and collecting goods and donations for the families when they arrive,” Schlosar said.

The society has also established a refugee fund on its website.

“The money goes entirely to the families that end up here in our region, Nanaimo and regional district,” Schlosar said.  “So none of their money is going overseas and none of it is being spent on administration, but it is actually designated for families.”

For more information please visit www.cvims.org.

Just Posted

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read