Local refugee committee offering opportunity to bring another family to Castlegar

The Castlegar Refugee Project needs funds and volunteers

Tuan, Tang, Daniel and David would like to make Castlegar their home. Photo: Submitted

Tuan, Tang, Daniel and David would like to make Castlegar their home. Photo: Submitted

Submitted by Castlegar Refugee Project

The Castlegar Refugee Project is inviting everyone in Castlegar to be part of a good news story once again.

In 2016, Castlegar welcomed two refugee families, one from Myanmar and one from Syria.

They were so warmly received by our community and we raised sufficient funds, found volunteers for every need and Castlegar responded with great enthusiasm!

Both families are flourishing and well, with jobs and happy, healthy families.

Tragically, the situation in both countries has not improved. Myanmar has been drawn into civil war after the military junta threw out the democratic government and has engaged in brutally attacking its own people. Over the last 30 years, there have been horrific waves of oppression of Rohingya and Christian populations but the scale of these human rights abuses have worsened dramatically during the last 12 months.

Zing Men (one of the Myanmar refugees brought to Castlegar) contacted a member of the previous refugee committee to ask if an effort could be made to sponsor her cousin Tuan who has been a refugee in Malaysia for ten years already. Tuan fled Myanmar after arrests, beatings, tortures and death threats because she is a practicing Christian.

In Malaysia she met Thang, who fled Myanmar under the same circumstances. They married and have two little boys, ages two and five. They have UN Asylum Seeker status, but no rights to work and get education in Malaysia, so can only work informally part time. However, Thang has been able to find some carpentry and electrical work.

They very much want to come to a safe country where they can put their boys in school and have jobs and stability.

RELATED: Refugee family looks back on their first year in Castlegar

Steps to sponsorship

The process begins with forming a committee and we have space for a few more people on it!

The Anglican diocese of the Kootenays is acting as the Sponsorship Agreement Holder, SAH, or the intervenor with the government. Kinnaird Park Community Church is acting as the charitable organization through which donations can be made.

The next step is to raise enough money for a full year of support, roughly $40,000. Only when the funds are in a trust account with the Anglican Diocese can the application be submitted to the Canadian authorities. We have been given a chance to file this before the end of 2022 – and since the wait is most likely three years to get the process completed after this, it would be very sad to wait another year to file.

What you can do to help

Join the organizing committee! Why not counter all the bad news out there with some good news right here?

Can you share your donation with this family? Can your business? Can you organize a fundraiser to help? Can you approach your employer?

Here’s something heart-warming and worthwhile to be part of, and a chance to change the lives of four people who will be great assets to Canada as workers and citizens.

Tax receiptable donations can be made through Kinnaird Park Community Church by e transfer to castlegarrefugees@kinnairdpark.com.

GoFundMe and PayPal now have a charitable arrangement where tax receipts are given as well! Go to www.gofundme.com/f/help-bring-a-refugee-family-to-castlegar.

READ MORE: Castlegar volunteers mark Flight of the Monarch Day


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