Sid Jorna, chair of the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church refugee committee, and Eman Malak, settlement coordinator, meet to discuss the family budget for prospective refugees in Sooke. (Contributed)

Sooke group applies to sponsor a second refugee family

Sudanese family has escaped from genocide at home

The Team Sooke/Juan de Fuca Refugee Sponsorship Group has submitted an application to sponsor a second refugee family in the hopes of providing them with a chance for a better life in Canada.

The family – mom, dad, and three children – are in Cairo, Egypt after escaping a genocide supported by the Sudanese government and a variety of Sudanese militia groups.

The sponsorship stems from the Sooke organization’s initial humanitarian efforts in 2016 when it sponsored a family from Iraq.

RELATED: REFUGEES ARRIVE

“What we learned in our initial sponsorship is that there are people all over the world who are in crisis. Now that the focus has shifted from Syria and refugees from ISIS we looked a little further afield and decided to sponsor a family from one of the regions of ignored crisis,” said Sharon Sterling, one of the driving forces behind the Sooke sponsorship group.

“The family we’ve put forward for sponsorship is this Sudanese family, who simply can’t go home,” said Sterling.

The refugee group is positioned to apply for the second refugee family because its first family became self-sufficient much earlier than expected. After seven months in Canada, they no longer needed the Sooke group’s support and are living happy, productive lives in Canada.

That left the group with some unexpended funds and the opportunity to use those funds as seed money for a second sponsorship.

Sterling admitted her group has heard fears regarding immigrants expressed in the past, particularly when immigrants come from countries in conflict, but she was quick to point out that people’s attitudes generally changed when they met the family and could see them as human beings rather than statistics.

It’s a phenomenon that Jean McRae, the chief executive officer for the Inter-Cultural Association of Victoria has experienced as well.

“The fear of immigrants, particularly those who are black or brown and come from conflict region, has been ginned up south of the border and some of that has leaked into Canada,” McRae said.

“All immigrants go through security and criminality checks, and we know from statistics that they are far less likely to get involved with the criminal justice system than people born in Canada.”

RELATED: AMAZING ROAD TO COUNCIL

McRae said once the public meets the refugees, the fears tend to evaporate.

The Sooke sponsorship group is working to create a greater understanding of its program, and the challenges facing the proposed immigrant family through two information sessions in April.

The first of these sessions will be held Tuesday, April 9 at 2 p.m. at Rose of Lima Catholic Church, 2191 Townsend Rd., and the second will take place on April 30 at 7: p.m. at Christian Life Assembly, 6851 West Coast Rd.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

City of Victoria considers proposed senior rental development

The Mount St. Angela’s complex aims to include affordable rental units

Middle school students busted for vaping in Oak Bay

Oak Bay Police respond to minors vaping, arson, and transients sleeping in a car

Peninsula Panthers look to claw their way back into the win column

Panthers remain the best team in the league, but the Victoria Cougars are set to pounce

Last call for raffle ticket to win $6,900 necklace with 163 diamonds

Oak Bay contest funds patient care for people and families dealing with cancer

More than 30 cars get tires slashed in Oaklands neighbourhood

VicPD are asking for help from witnesses to the incidents

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Union says Western Forest Products refuses to budge from ‘unreasonable concessions’

According to a press release, both parties met on Oct. 16, 18, 19, and 20.

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

App designed to help cut waste and grocery bills

Food security advocates say addressing poverty is ultimate key

Most Read