Anyone interested in helping refugees to the area can find out more about a sponsorship program this month.
The Newcomer Refugee Sponsorship Information Session will be happening at the Brockville Country Club on May 29th. Chair of Refugees for Brockville Doctor Jacqueline Schoemaker Holmes says anyone in the area can learn about what is involved in the process of welcoming, settling and including a newcomer family or individual. Schoemaker Holmes says refugee newcomers can’t come to Canada without a sponsorship agreement holder. Smaller groups are formed under that umbrella and begin to raise the funds and make preparations to welcome a family or individual, according to Schoemaker Holmes.
“There are lots of people on what we call the BVOR list, that the Blended Visa Office Referral list. These are refugees that have already been vetted by the Canadian government and are awaiting essentially a group just like this that will pick their name off the list and invite them to come to Canada.”
Schoemaker Holmes says in Brockville and the area, there are around six sponsorship groups and have all sponsored at least one family or individual. They are looking for more sponsorship’s as four more families arrived last fall and the current groups are maxed out, according to Schoemaker Holmes.
“We need more people to step forward and say we’re willing to be a part of this wonderful experience.”
The information session is free to attend and runs from five to 6:30 that evening. The Brockville Country Club is located at 1548 King Street West.