Photo credit: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
As one of two Sponsorship Agreement Holders located in Victoria, ICA is busy working with Constituent Groups to privately sponsor refugees. Currently, 33 Constituent Groups are at various stages in the sponsorship process, and 19 newcomers with refugee backgrounds have been welcomed to the CRD. Most newcomer families have settled into their apartments and new neighbourhoods, and children are enrolled in schools – everyone is working hard to navigate the new environment and community. ICA has been supporting the newcomers and the Constituent Groups during the first few weeks after arrival with the most pressing issues that people face when they first arrive in Canada, such as applications for provincial health care coverage and for the Canada child tax benefit; orientation to Government and community services; and understanding their rights and responsibilities. The first newcomers are beginning English language classes at ICA in early February, and members of Constituent Groups are attending Arabic language classes so they can have some basic conversations with the newcomers in their native language.
ICA wishes to thank you for supporting the resettlement of refugees in our dynamic community. We have been positively overwhelmed with the generosity of Victoria residents through donations and in-kind offers. Through the hard work, social networks, and actions of individuals we hope to continue welcoming refugees into our community.