Our mission is:

– to welcome and support refugees
– to facilitate their healthy adjustment to Canadian society
– to facilitate their moving towards independence.

Looking back ….

In the late 1970’s, Kamloops United Church formed a “Refugee Resettlement” group in response to the many refugees fleeing Viet Nam (known at the time as  “the Boat People”), and sponsored our first family. Our next sponsorships were refugees from Guatemala, Nicaragua and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Responding, in the late 1990s, to the huge numbers of refugees from Kosovo, the KUC Refugee Resettlement group was asked by the Canadian government to co-ordinate sponsorships in Kamloops for refugees from the former Yugoslavia.

We agreed, and individuals from the wider community, and other churches in Kamloops joined with us, sponsoring 50 refugees from Kosovo and Albania.  As we worked together, this sponsoring group took on the name “Refugees and Friends Together”, “R.A.F.T.” for short, to more accurately reflect the diverse make-up of the group. Since that time we continued to sponsor refugees, sponsoring people from Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia, Iraq and Iran. The total number of Syrian refugees arriving in Canada from November 2015 to March 2, 2017 was 26,140 and 2,267 of these came to B.C.

By the spring of 2016 we had five families arrive.  Three of these “families”, while sponsored by RAFT, were actively supported by the Kamloops Islamic Association.   Later 3 more Syrian families were welcomed to Kamloops. 2019 our last Syrian family moved to Montreal. After Covid 19 we were able to have a new person in 2022.

In 2023 RAFT transitioned to independence. Kamloops United Church Resettlement group continues to work with newcomer Ukrainian refugees in 2021-2023.