Manotick area Refugee Sponsorships
Manotick area has several sponsorship groups and churches raising money to support refugees coming to our area. Please support their efforts with donations or volunteer services.
1. St. James Manotick Refugee Sponsorship Program
St. James Anglican Church in Manotick has a mission to sponsor refugees to come to Canada. As of September 2015 about 30 members of the church and local residents were raising money to bring refugee families to Ottawa and using their various skills to help them integrate into Canadian life. If you would like more information or want to get involved, please contact the project organizers.
If you wish to donate to this program, send your cheque to "St. James Anglican Church", with instructions that it is to support the "Manotick Refugee Sponsorship Program". A Tax receipt from this charitable organization will be mailed to you.
A Karen Family of Six from Burma
The Manotick Refugee Sponsorship Program was expecting their Karen family of 6 in January 2015. The parents had been expelled from Burma (Myanmar) by the military government and had been living in a Thailand refugee camp for 18 years. The committee did a lot of fund-raising to raise the $35,000 needed to settle the family in Canada. But at that point they received bad news: The federal government said their permission to come to Canada was postponed 3 years because of the processing of Syrian refugees. So, banking the money for the Karen family until they can come to Canada, the committee focused on another family.
Family of Four from Iraq
The committee heard about the Blended Visa Officer Referred Program (BVOR), in which the federal government and sponsor splits the settlement costs, and the wait time would only be a few months. The committee applied to sponsor an Iraqi family of 4 who urgently needed to leave their country, and then got busy fund-raising again with a goal of $15,000. (As of September 2015 they had raised $10,000.)
This family had fled to Kuwait when Mohanad's (the father) colleagues at a radio station were killed by ISIS. Although he was shot at, he managed to escape. It was an emotional moment, on June 1, 2015, when committee members met the family for the first time at the airport. They were lovely and very grateful to be here.
The two boys, ages 6 and 9, are enthusiastic about being in Canada. They learned to swim during the summer and couldn't wait until the winter snow arrives! They like school. The parents are in Adult ESL classes - Mohanad is Stage 2 in English, and Heba is Stage 5. Stage 6 is needed to get into Algonquin College, which Heba is hoping to attend next year. Mohanad has a five year University degree in Theatre with specialty in Theatre Lighting. He has worked as a Radio Technician. He is open to any job once his English improves. They will be successful Canadians!
- Jan-2015: $35,000 raised to sponsor a family of 6 from Burma with fundraisers and private donations.
- Jan-2015: The federal government posted the permission for 3 years to bring the Karen family to Canada.
- Jun-2015: Mohanad, Heba and their children (6 and 9) arrive in Ottawa.
- Sep-2015: $10,000 raised of $15,000 needed to settle the Iraqi family here.
2. Manotick Refugee Sponsorship Group
A group of families of students at St. Mark High School started a group led by Dr. Susan Whitley to sponsor a family in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. They chose the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa as their Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), which made the process much simpler than applying as a "group of five". In November 2015 they were matched to a Syrian family under the Blended Visa Officer Referred Program (BVOR). The family of 4 had fled war-torn Syria: a single 39-year old mother, her 16-year old son, 10-year old daughter and a 21-year old male relative. They had been living in a camp in Beirut, Lebanon.
ETA: December 2015. The group was challenged to find an apartment (budget $1,100 including utilities). An anonymous donor offered to fully furnish the apartment. Generosity is everywhere to welcome this lucky family.
3. South Gloucester United Church Sponsorship Group
The "Riverside South for Refugees" are raising funds to support this program - contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-822-9666.
Obligations of a Sponsorship Group
A sponsorship agreement includes a financial obligation as well as commitment to a family for one year. The group must cover the start-up costs for the family to have a household ($3500 for furnishings, rent, insurance, hydro deposit, phone, groceries) plus six months financial support ($2,400 per month may cover rent, utilities, phone, internet, transportation, and food). It is anticipated that emergency health care costs, prescriptions, vision care, and emergency dental will be covered by the Interim Federal Health (IFH) program which the federal government may reinstate. In addition to arranging housing, the family needs medical care, registering children in schools, and English as a second language programs, helping with OHIP, SIN card application, buying bus passes, helping with a job search, and even details such as stocking a pantry. An even larger responsibility is the social and psychological support of the family, who may have been victims of violence. (from Manotick Refugee Sponsorship Group)