All Saints Kingsway’s Sponsored Family
November 13 update
There have been a number of things that have happened with the sponsored refugee family over the last several days. One of the daughters had her birthday. Beena purchased her a present (a watch) on behalf of our All Saints’ family. There was a small birthday party with cake and Iraqi mini-pizzas. We sang “Happy Birthday” first in English and then some of us sang “Happy Birthday” in Arabic. The birthday girl was very delighted with all of this and she reported that her class at school had also a birthday celebration for her.
Ruth Cairns accompanied the mother and one of the daughters to the “Meet the Teachers” evening to help them. The daughter is doing very well at school!
The family is very appreciative of what we have been doing for them and they want to start giving back. One daughter has volunteered to help with Out of the Cold and the mother is joining her, at least for the first few Fridays, until she gets oriented. The father has volunteered at CultureLink to mentor Arab refugees by delivering computer training. These volunteering ventures should also help the family to have more direct exposure to Canadian culture.
Does anyone have carpeting or area rugs they are planning to dispose of? The family made this request. I believe, with the colder weather, they are finding the floors a little chilly to walk on. Please let David Curtis (416) 233-4363 or [email protected] know if you do. Thanks!
MORE NEWS ABOUT THE SPONSORED FAMILY – October update
It is hard to believe but the sponsored family celebrated their first month in Canada this week. They arrived on September 7th after fleeing from Iraq and spending three years waiting in Turkey. After one month in Canada, with all your help, they are adapting and integrating into life here.
Last week, the parents, started their English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. They attend classes each afternoon during the week.
The children are all enjoying school. In their townhouse complex, several of the houses have put out Halloween decorations, which is starting to raise the curiosity of the children. Another new Canadian experience in store for them at the end of the month.
UPDATE ON THE IRAQI FAMILY ASK IS SPONSORING – August update
Wonderful news! Our family seeking refuge in Canada is coming. The family is arriving on September 7, 2016 at the Toronto Pearson Airport. There are five members in the family, the husband and wife and their three children.
WE HAVE OUR FAMILY SEEKING REFUGE IN CANADA! – May update
Great News! We have been assigned a family from Iraq seeking refuge in Canada. The family is currently in Turkey. There are five members in this family: the father, the mother, and three children. We don’t have much more information about the family than this. Not even their names! However, as we find out more, I will let you know.
So when will they arrive? The answer I received from the folks at AURA was the earliest they would arrive here would be in four weeks. However, the more realistic expectation will be that they will arrive in eight to twelve weeks.
Now is the time we need to get going on our preparations for our sponsored family’s arrival. Many have already volunteered their time and effort to make this work and I would like to express my gratitude to them. We are collectively working on the preparations for the family’s arrival. However, if you have been thinking about volunteering, I would still like to hear from you. Just know that you first have to meet the AURA qualification requirements which are completing the police check and attending an AURA training session.
This is a wonderful initiative our ASK community is taking on. We look forward to helping our new family settle in Canada!
Write to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister McCallum
The Canadian government is starting to reduce the number of refugees and immigrants from Syria to earlier levels. There are still groups, including ASK, who are prepared to sponsor families and continue to clear the backlog of applicants.
Please write to Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum to encourage them to increase the number of cases available for sponsorship. You can find suggestions and templates at the AURA website
On Saturday, April 23, 2016, Ruth Schembri and I attended an ECULINK Workshop at Islington United Church on Syrian Refugee Resettlement. The speaker, Mahmoud Allouch, from the Arab Community Centre of Toronto, provided an excellent overview of the “Challenges and Recommendations: Syrian Refugee Settlement” as the attached slides.
Progress Report – March update
Great News! We have reached our fundraising target for resettling our refugee family! Thanks go out to you for your wonderful generosity. It is terrific to see how we have come together and provided the necessary funding for our initiative so quickly. Many thanks to our successful fundraising team lead by Carol Walmsley and supported by Doug Waite, Priscilla Healy, and Sandee Westell.
We have collected $36,557.01 as of March 21, 2016. For you that may be wondering what happens if we have collected more than what is needed to support our family for our one year obligation, we have a plan. After our family is well established and the financial support need for them is done, there will be a meeting to determine if we choose to go on and support another refugee family or donate any remaining funds to assist another group supporting refugees, such as the Primate’s World Relief Fund. No matter what, all funds raised will go to support a family seeking refuge in Canada.
We are proceeding on to our next step. Many of you have volunteered your time and talents to be part of the support for the family when they arrive. As volunteers, you have to receive training from AURA, the organization that is the interface between All Saints’ Kingsway and the Federal Government and makes arrangement for the family we will be sponsoring. As well you need to have a security screen. Both of these are underway under Fran Richardson’s leadership.
When all the volunteer training and screening is completed, we will be able to take the ask AURA to arrange for our family!
All the leadership positions have been filled except for the Ongoing Relationship team leader and I would be pleased to talk with you about that role. But whether you want to be a leader or a helper, there is still lots to do. Please contact me if you wish to add your time and talents.
Thanks for all your support!
We need your Time, Talent & Treasure – February update
As you know, a resolution was passed by a substantial majority at the Special Vestry Meeting on Sunday, January 31 for All Saints Kingsway to undertake the sponsorship of a family seeking refuge in Canada. Now, we need your support in whatever way you want to help.
TIME & TALENT
The most critical element is having volunteers to fill the positions in the Welcoming and Ongoing Relations Committee (WORC) we need to do the work over the next two years. At the moment, these are:
- Welcome – Initial Meeting with the Family Leader and several supporting member and
- Ongoing Relations with the Refugee Family Leader and several supporting members
You may be interested in helping but not in these specific roles, so please give us your name and contact information and how you might like to help. We have had many volunteers come forward already but we can still use more.
HOW DO WE DO IT
If you would like to contact me for further conversation on these positions and what work they entail, please contact me at: [email protected] or call me at (416) 233-4363.
It has been determined that we will need at least $30,000 to meet the needs of supporting a family for one year. If you haven’t already provided financial support, there are optional was of contributing:
- Fill out the attached form and return it with a cheque with “Refugee Resettlement” in the note line or cash in an enclosed envelope to the church office or to the collection plate during a service.
- Donate on line through this link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/all-saints-church-kingsway/ . Under your donation amount please choose the specific fund option “4. Refugee Resettlement”. This payment method allows you to use a credit card or PayPal.
Again, if you have any questions about this, please contact me at: [email protected] or call me at (416) 233-4363.
We have had several meeting where we have developed our Sponsorship. If you would like to catch up on these, please click on the links below.
Thanks for all your support!