Castlegar still waiting for refugee family

The Castlegar Refugee Project is still waiting to be assigned a family. Group will show the film "Salam Neighbor" May 29.

Salam Neighbor is about the people in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan which is located close to southern border of Syria

The Castlegar Refugee Project (CaRe) is prepared to welcome a refugee family to Castlegar, but due to slow governmental processes may still have a while to wait.

The group has the funding, training and accommodations needed to sponsor the family but has been told that since the government has already brought in the 25,000 refugees it had promised to bring to Canada, the staffing levels for medical screening, security screening and processing have returned to where they were before the election. This has resulted in a huge backlog in the processing of sponsorships leaving communities all over Canada ready, willing and waiting to be assigned a family.

“Sadly, we have no news,” said CaRe committee member Julie Leffelaar. “That’s hard. We haven’t been assigned a family and neither have many other community groups around Canada.”

The group’s sponsorship agreement holder, the Anglican Diocese of the Kootenays, puts in a bid in the lottery style process to be assigned a family every second week. They have been told the earliest they might expect to be successful is June. Once a family is assigned to Castlegar it could be many months before the family finally arrives. One estimate is October at the earliest, but it could be much longer than that.

“We are told to be patient, though we already have our funds, our training and even our house,” added Leffelaar. “Castlegar has been so great at joining us in raising funds and preparing for a family from a war-torn area in the Middle East, and this is a super place for a family to come.”

While CaRe waits, they are not sitting idle. The group is making plans for events, is continuing fundraising and some members are taking Arabic lessons. On Sunday, May 29 at 7 p.m. they will be showing the documentary film Salam Neighbor at the Old Castlegar Theatre. Admission is by donation.

The film is about the people in the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan which is located close to southern border of Syria.

“Although the family we’ll be welcoming to Castlegar might not be Syrian, but could be from any war-torn area in the Middle East, Salam Neighbor shows us the realities of refugees in all UNHCR camps and in neighboring towns,” said CaRe member Antoinette Halberstadt. “When some of us saw this profound film in Nelson, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. As we were introduced to these women, children and men, we gained a new appreciation of their challenges, and respect for their resourcefulness.” A trailer for the film can be found on YouTube.

Anyone with questions about CaRe can contact Rosemary Manarin at rose_manarin@hotmail.com.

Just Posted

Feds, B.C. to expand Darkwoods Conservation area

New funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Castlegar daycare selected for universal childcare pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Selkirk College nursing students visit Honduran migrants

Students were overwhelmed by migrants’ hope in the face of poverty and displacement

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read