The following release comes from the BC government. The original link is in the resources below. Following that is the Sooke connection to the refugee crisis: Rebecca Collard from Sooke is a journalist who is currently covering the refugee crisis in Hungary. Learn more about her below.
Recognizing the severity of the global humanitarian crisis in Syria, the Government of British Columbia is creating a $1-million readiness fund for Syrian refugees settling in B.C.
The fund is a one-time investment intended to complement existing provincial and federal support services for refugees. It will enhance existing provincial refugee programs and provide additional resources for private sponsors who are working to bring these refugees to B.C.
The Province will work with settlement agencies, community groups and private sponsors to make sure these funds are used to achieve the best outcomes for these refugees. Specifically the funds will be used for:
- Counselling – trauma counselling through a range of psycho-social supports.
- “Groups of Five” private sponsorship supports – A “Group of Five” is made up of private citizens who come together to sponsor a refugee. These funds will assist these private sponsors to help navigate the refugee-sponsorship process.
- Community-level supports – help for local governments that will be settling Syrian refugees so there will be a welcoming community for these newcomers.
- Foreign Credential Recognition – many Syrians will arrive in Canada with work experience and credentials from their home country. Funds will be available for B.C.-based professional associations to quickly and fairly review and approve their foreign credentials so they can start working in B.C.
- Employer supports – funds to help businesses and existing immigrant settlement organizations employ, train and mentor Syrian refugees. These funds will also provide matching funds to employers who train and commit to hire a Syrian refugee.
For any questions about existing supports available for refugees or to learn more about how this fund can be used to help, community groups and private sponsors can call 1 877 952-6914.
The Sooke connection
Did you know that a freelance journalist originally from Sooke has been covering issues in the Middle East for some time now? Currently, she is covering the refugee crisis in Hungary.
See her photos, read her stories, and generally follow Rebecca Collard through the following online resources.
You can also listen to her reports on Soundcloud
- Rebecca Collard on Soundcloud
Following are Ms. Collard’s latest posts on Twitter
Lebanon clapping for health care workers, some of who have not been paid because of the financial crisis here.… https://t.co/SmvmiCabGs— Rebecca Collard (@rebeccacollard) March 29, 2020
Anyone know what seems to be on fire in downtown Beirut? #lebanon #beirut https://t.co/TIujfCTd0F— Rebecca Collard (@rebeccacollard) March 28, 2020
Officer with an M16 raiding a Poke restaurant in Beirut yesterday amid a nation-wide Coronavirus lockdown. Only in… https://t.co/AnsFNE71Sw— Rebecca Collard (@rebeccacollard) March 26, 2020
Yes, this man is selling masks out of back of his car. #Lebanon #COVIDー19 #coronavirus https://t.co/7EM4RZfhZ5— Rebecca Collard (@rebeccacollard) March 26, 2020
When the sun hits the disinfectant spray at just the right angle: rainbow!🌈 #COVIDー19 #coronavirus #beirut #lebanon https://t.co/HktjAdHl5w— Rebecca Collard (@rebeccacollard) March 23, 2020
Questions to our readership
Have you been affected by the refugee crisis? Should Canada have a greater involvement or not? What can we do from Sooke? Please use the comments section below to contribute your thoughts and responses.