10:30 a.m., Dec. 8)
Local agencies preparing for arrival of first Syrian refugees
By Fred Sherwin
refugees An estimated 1,500 Syrian refugees
will soon be arriving in Ottawa. Getty Images
agencies are busy preparing to welcome the first wave
of Syrian refugees as part of Canadas effort to
accept 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year.
information sessions on sponsoring refugee families were
held at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex on Saturday
bringing together church groups, local service clubs,
and private residents interested in sponsoring the new
must agree to take responsibility for the refugees for
a year after they arrive in Canada, providing shelter,
food, clothing and other necessities as well as help in
adjusting to a new country.
sessions were organized by Refugee 613, in partnership
with the Coalition in Ottawa for Refugees and the Refugee
Sponsorship Training Program.
613 was created by the City of Ottawa in October to co-ordinate
refugee resettlement efforts. Their first priority has
been to locate housing for the new arrivals. To that end
the organization has created a central housing matching
service for people to offer up space in their homes.
the first influx of refugees will primarily be settled
in Montreal and Toronto, at least 1,500 will end up in
Ottawa where they will receive support from sponsors who
have already registered withe the relocation program.
of the organizations that will be at the forefront of
welcoming the new arrivals is the Catholic Centre for
Immigrants, where officials are taking names of people
who want to do everything from driving people to appointments
to helping the newcomers learn English.
local school boards are also preparing for the new arrivals.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) is holding a refugee
support information night at the boards headquarters
on Hunt Club Road on Tuesday, April 5at 8:30 p.m.
OCSBs Family Welcome Centre for Newcomers helps
refugee families and students get settlement support and
register for school.
residents can help in a variety of different ways. Clothing
can be dropped off at the Salvation Army Thrift Store
on Innes Road. Furniture and household items can be donated
through Helping with Furniture located at 5350 Canotek
Rd., Unit 9, and monetary donations can be made to United
for Refugees, which is the main umbrella group for refugee
help in the city.
information can be found on the Refugee 613 website at
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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