FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (Duncan, BC) Intercultural Society Grateful to Generous Cowichan Community
One year after residents began welcoming in the Cowichan Valley, as part of a national resettlement movement, we would like to thank the hundreds of members of our community who individually and collectively have contributed to sponsoring and welcoming refugees to the Warmland. In one year, over 80 Syrian refugees have resettled in our valley, and more are to come.
As the Canadian Council for Refugees recently stated, “the generosity of the public has been humbling. Whether it is high school students preparing welcome baskets, seniors knitting hats and scarves, individuals donating time and money to privately sponsor refugees, neighbours taking newly arrived children to hockey practice, or people, businesses, unions, faith and cultural communities, and social groups offering all manner of support, Canadians have shown once again that we are at our best when we reach out to welcome our future fellow citizens.”
This sentiment couldn’t be any more applicable to the generosity expressed from members of the Cowichan community during the past twelve months. Numerous private sponsorship groups, religious groups, school groups, families and individuals have come together to offer their support in a variety of ways – from volunteering countless hours in support of refugee families to ensuring that we have sufficient donations to cover the many needs of these newcomers. If it wasn’t for the individual and collective generosity of these members of our community, this resettlement effort would not be as successful as it has been.
Our work is not over yet. Federal funding to government sponsored Syrian refugees runs out after one year, and for many of the families in the Cowichan Valley, that date is imminent. Support is still needed to ensure the most successful outcomes possible for these families. The Cowichan Intercultural Society continues to welcome financial donations, volunteers who would like to support refugees and immigrants, and we continue to solicit specific donations for these families through our membership.
Are you interested in learning more about what it takes to become a sponsor, or are you interested in learning more about the sponsorship process in general? On Thursday, January 12th, the Cowichan Intercultural Society will be hosting a one-hour Prospective Sponsor Workshop/Info Session, from 5:30-6:30pm in our office (Suite 205, 394 Duncan Street – the Cowichan Professional Building).
Over three decades ago, CIS was born as a response to the Vietnamese refugee crisis. Now, another generation of Canadians, including former refugees, are opening their arms to embrace diversity, inclusion, and to enrich their own lives, by welcoming Syrian refugees to the Cowichan Valley. On behalf of all of us involved in settlement services, and on behalf of our refugee clients, we’d like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU!
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Read this as a .pdf: one year of sponsorships