As of January 2018, PEC Syria is supporting the resettlement of four new Syrian Canadian families, all of whom are related. The first family arrived in the fall of 2015.
Employment is a key milestone for the adults and older youth, and many are already working to support their families. Learning English is also important for new Canadians to settle into the community and school. We are supporting the families to upgrade their English and job skills as driven by their individual goals. As they get established, we are finding many family members have a strong entrepreneurial streak.
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• As the sponsoring organization, PEC Syria is committed to supporting sponsored families for their first year in Canada, including housing, food, access to community services (schools, transportation, health care, English language services), and adjusting culturally to a new country.
• While our financial obligation is 12 months, we have learned this is not enough time for newcomers to be fully independent. We work with each family to develop appropriate supports to help them become financially independent.
• Even when the formal sponsorship commitment ends, the many volunteers of PEC Syria, who have become friends with the families, continue to offer their friendship and assistance.
- Through Lifeline Syria we have an opportunity to sponsor refugees already approved for resettlement who have undergone rigorous security screening by both the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the government of Canada before being accepted. No existing security protocols are being compromised to get them here faster.
- Canada conducts its own security and criminal checks, and also takes into consideration any anchor relatives or sponsors in Canada.
- More than 75% of Syrian refugees are women and children. UNHCR criteria give priority to vulnerable groups such as women at risk, children, survivors of trauma or torture, refugees at heightened risk of sexual violence or exploitation and refugees who require resettlement to ensure family unity.
There are people across Canada and many here in the County who need help and support, and many individuals who give generously of their time and money to help them, through such organizations as the County Community Foundation and local food banks. They do not intend to stop. Very simply, we can do both.
Yes – we have applications in process to resettle other families with the help of many volunteers throughout Prince Edward County, Belleville and Trenton. If you are interested in getting involved or learning more, please click on the “Volunteer” link above.
It did at first, but the Government agreed to extend the deadline and we have submitted applications to support other refugee families.
• PEC Syria is sponsoring a number of Syrian refugee families. Four have arrived and we have applied to resettle four more. They have been already screened and approved by the Canadian government.
• The displaced families are experiencing extreme hardship.
• 100% of donated funds support the resettlement of Syrian refugees. None of the donated money is spent on administration.
• We also have generous support in the community e.g. donations of dental services, lawyers to help with extraordinary expenses, and countless donations from individuals and businesses.
• 100% of donated funds go toward the resettlement of the Syrian refugee families. PEC Syria has an Administration Committee as well as co-chairs providing financial oversight.
• A monthly budget is determined for resettlement needs, including housing, food, medical needs, utilities, transportation, etc. Families receive monthly funds from PEC Syria, as well as some funds directly from the federal government.
• The families remit receipts (with support from PEC Syria) for reimbursement through PEC Syria and the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge.
• Studies have shown that sponsored refugees benefit from the networks of their sponsors, find work quickly and match or outperform other immigrant groups. We already have community members who have offered employment and mentorship.
• The families qualify immediately for OHIP and also have access to health care benefits under the Interim Federal Health Program. Ultimately they will be resettled as permanent residents, who will pay into the system as taxpayers.
At a national level, it’s important for Canada to consider what it can do both to help the immediate needs of refugees, and end the conflict that is driving people from their homeland. Whether these responses are political or military, they will take time. While the international community considers how to respond to the conflict, millions of people have been displaced. They need help now.
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