Although the costs are significant, the Summerland United Church will sponsor a family of Syrian refugees as they relocate to Canada.
The financial commitment for this sponsorship is estimated at $16,000 to $18,000, in order to provide for their needs during their first year in Canada. This is a significant commitment, but one which will do much to help a family devastated as a result of their country’s civil war.
In addition to the financial commitments, members of the church’s sponsorship committee are working to find suitable rental accommodations and Arabic-speaking people in the area.
These measures are necessary to help the family adapt and adjust to life in Canada.
While the details of this family’s story are unique, many families in Summerland and throughout Canada have stories of how they, their parents, their grandparents or others before them arrived here for similar reasons.
Some came in the aftermath of wars or revolutions. Some came to escape totalitarian regimes or extreme poverty.
For them and others, Canada has been a welcoming place.
The support and generosity of others has made the many immigration stories possible.
The federal government has committed to bringing in 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next three years, but it is up to the public to sponsor individual families.
This is the role the United Church has taken on, and it is an area where others in the community can become involved.
Providing hospitality and support to this family of Syrian refugees is a way to extend to others the same kindness many families living here have already experienced.
It is also a way to say thanks for the support which has been extended in the past.