Doug Holmes

Funding available to support third refugee family

The Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group has most of the funding in place to help another refugee family in the community.

The Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group has most of the funding in place to help another refugee family in the community.

“We pretty much have enough money to support a third family,” said Doug Holmes, outgoing chair of the group. “This community has been incredible.”

The committee has already supported two families of Syrian refugees.

On Feb. 14, the Al Sheblaqe family of six arrived and one month later, on March 14, the Abdulrahman family arrived.

The costs of sponsoring a family are estimated at around $30,000 depending on the size of the family.

Holmes said the two families are adjusting well to life in Canada.

In the summer, some family members worked in local orchards to earn extra income, but the majority of their time has been spent acquiring the necessary language skills.

“The priority is learning English,” Holmes said. “They need the language to get good jobs.”

The children have been attending school and have been fitting in with their Canadian classmates, Holmes added.

He said the community has been generous in providing financial support.

“We haven’t really made much effort into fundraising,” he said. “The community has been supportive.”

However, volunteers, including drivers, are still needed as the families must attend appointments and language classes.

Most immigrant services in the region are in Penticton, not Summerland, but this year, because of the number of newcomers in Summerland, the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services has been providing English language classes in Summerland as well.

Sponsorship group’s AGM planned

The Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group will hold its first annual meeting next week.

The meeting will be held Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the former library building on Wharton Street.

At the meeting, the sponsorship group will elect a new board of directors. The group will also discuss the size and final composition of the board.

In addition, Lesley Vaisanen will speak about her experiences helping refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos last winter.


Just Posted

UPDATE: Police surround Peachland neighbourhood

RCMP are on scene at Heighway Lane in Peachland

UPDATE: Coquihalla now open north of Hope

Accident happened earlier this afternoon

Penticton on Bamford’s list of stops in 2020

Gord Bamford and friends are scheduled to stop in Penticton in 2020

Craft Corner Kitchen hosting comedy night in Penticton

The restaurant serves up the laughs with Comedy on the Verge on Nov. 23.

Empire Hydrogen bringing pollution-reducing fuel system on Okanagan tour

The company will be running information sessions starting on Nov. 20.

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

‘Homes not shelters’: Those living on Kelowna streets rally for rights

On Tuesday, Leon Avenue residents came together to demand change

North Okanagan councillor pitches homeless camp at city hall

805 bylaw calls in 10 months were for inappropriately set-up camps

Vernon car fire deemed suspicious

SUV found fully engulfed with nobody around at 4 a.m. Tuesday on Commonage Road

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Penticton arts, culture and sports programs get boost of over $500,000 thanks to provincial grant

The B.C. Community Gaming Grants program will be distributing $505,900 to 18 local groups

Okanagan school districts reach agreement with CUPE Local 523

The union represents members who provide a variety of services to support students

North Okanagan motorists advised of road disruptions

Silver Star Road work scheduled for Thursday

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Most Read