Refugee families need sponsors

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees and our Canadian Embassy in Syria are desperately seeking sponsorships for refugee families who have already been approved to come to Canada.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees and our Canadian Embassy in Syria are desperately seeking sponsorships for refugee families who have already been approved to come to Canada.

These people are stateless.

In 1948, many thousands who were displaced from Palestine, fled to Iraq where they lived in relative peace, but always without the basic rights of citizenship. Since 2003, in the aftermath of the fall of Iraq, families have had to flee again.

Borders were closed to them and they have been stranded in refugee camps for many years, living in terrible conditions in the desert. The Syrian government is closing the camp and threatening to send them back to Iraq where many Palestinians have been killed. There is absolutely no prospect of remaining in Syria or returning to Iraq or Palestine.

With the invitation of Immigration Canada, churches and organizations across Canada have been sponsoring families. The political situation in Syria has become unstable and it is possible that our embassy there may have to close. Therefore there is an urgent need to act before it becomes impossible to help.

The Comox United Church Global Justice Committee has begun the process of bringing a family of five to the Comox Valley. The family consists of a mother and father and three daughters, ages six, 10 and 16.

“We are seeking to join with churches, organizations and individuals to support and help the family settle into the Valley and provide financial support for a year, approximately $30,000,” said spokesperson Dave Talbot.

“We are hoping to move quickly and have a three-bedroom apartment or home furnished for them in the next few weeks. We are having the first meeting of the refugee support committee this coming Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. in the Seniors’ Lounge downstairs at the Florence Filberg Centre in Courtenay.”

Come and represent your church or organization or as an individual. Talk among your friends and family and consider putting on a fundraising event.

Cheques can be made out to Comox United Church with Refugee Fund noted on the memo line and sent to Comox United Church, 250 Beach Dr., Comox, B.C. V9M 1P9.

Those who have furniture and household items to donate or know of housing that would be suitable or would like more information, phone Dave at 250-339-4975 or 250-218-7874 or e-mail him at kye_bay@shaw.ca.

— Comox United Church Global Justice Committee

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