(Press release via KSRSG. Photo: At a Kanata Stittsville Refugee Sponsorship Group meeting in September, Rev. Grant Dillenbeck answers questions on how to help Syrian refugees. Photo by Shannon Lough.)
At a meeting held on Wednesday October 21, the Kanata Stittsville Refugee Sponsorship Group (KSRSG) decided to proceed with two sponsorships of refugees from Syria.
One sponsorship will be requested through the Canadian government’s Blended Visa Office Referred program, which sponsors those pre-approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada Officials.
This process is co-funded by the government and the KSRSG, and is expected to take from three to six months for the refugees to arrive in Canada. The KSRSG also decided to proceed with the sponsorship of one or more refugees who have been made known to us by people here in Ottawa. This process will take longer, probably a year or more, will involve more paper work, and will be totally funded by the KSRSG (approximately $20,000).
It his hoped this method of sponsorship will offer assistance to refugees who may not have been fortunate enough to contact Canadian officials where they are presently living and be on the Blended Visa Office Referred list.
The KSRSG is comprised of seven member churches in Stittsville and Kanata: Kanata, Glen Cairn and Stittsville United, St. Thomas (Stittsville), St. Paul’s (Kanata) and St. John’s (South March) Anglican, and St. Andrew’s (Stittsville) Presbyterian. In recent years the KSRSG has assisted in the sponsorship of three families from refugee camps in Syria.
Sponsorship applications for three additional families from Afghanistan have been completed by the KSRSG, and there are plans to apply to sponsor an additional Afghan family.
Anyone seeking to make a donation to support the KSRSG can do so through one of the member congregations. Those who wish more information or would like to help out in some other way, can contact the committee chair, Grant Dillenbeck, at 613-836-4962 or firstname.lastname@example.org .