KUC REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT GROUP
KUC Group in Ecumenical Refugee Partnership
The KUC Refugee Resettlement group is a founding member and part of RAFT (Refugees And Friends Together) which includes people from other faith communities in Kamloops. Originating with the United Churches in Kamloops, and then with RAFT, we have sponsored refugees for more than 20 years.
Mission and History:
Our mission is to welcome and support refugees, facilitate their healthy adjustment to Canadian society and facilitate their moving towards independence. To date we have sponsored 20 family groupings, which included 78 individuals. These refugees were sponsored from Guatemala, Vietnam, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Columbia.
Most Recent Sponsorship
RAFT held an information meeting on Monday, May 16 to update the public on refugee resettlement in Kamloops. “Thank you” was expressed to the many churches, organizations and individuals who have contributed to refugee sponsorship in our area.
The total number of Syrian refugees arriving in Canada from November 4, 2015 to March 2, 2017 is 26,140. 2,267 of these came to B.C.
To date we have had five families arrive. Three of these families, while sponsored by RAFT, are actively supported by the Kamloops Islamic Association. We are currently awaiting the arrival of other families. At this point we have no idea when this could happen.
In Sept. 2009 we greeted a refugee family of 5 from Iraq at the Kamloops airport. The sponsorship made us responsible for this family financially, emotionally and socially for 1 year. Our official sponsorship ended in Sept. 2010 but due to various challenges we have maintained an ongoing relationship and emotional support for this family. The family has expressed their gratitude to be here especially when they talk to relatives in Iraq and Syria who are frightened to leave their homes. They are much more relaxed and the children are not afraid when they are outside their home. In Nov. 2011 the family moved to Toronto to be with others of similar faith and background.
Submitted by Lynda Fisher and Martha Ashbaugh: co-chairs KUC Refugee Resettlement Group