Immigration key to national history

The province of B.C. has a history of welcoming newcomers and not just those who are escaping the cold prairie winters.

The province of B.C. has a history of welcoming newcomers and not just those who are escaping the cold prairie winters.

Did you know that around 30 per cent of our population immigrated here from another country? Each year, B.C. welcomes around 50,000 immigrants from more than 150 countries. Refugees typically account for around four per cent of those new citizens.

The situation in Syria today is the worst humanitarian crisis the world has seen in many decades. From the overwhelmingly positive response we (Qualicum Refugee Sponsorship Group or QRSG) and other sponsorship groups have received it is clear that citizens of Vancouver Island have a deep desire to help in any way that they can. Together we can welcome many new families to communities up and down the island and provide them with the opportunity to start a new life.

QRSG  is a secular, not faith-based, group of volunteers from the community. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with a refugee sponsorship agreement holder, the Anglican Diocese of B.C., and its Qualicum parish, St. Mark’s Anglican Church.

Thanks to our agreement with the diocese and St. Mark’s, we have been able to receive, very quickly, government-approved training, guidance from an experienced area co-ordinator now working with more than 20 Island refugee sponsorship groups and the ability to issue charitable tax receipts for cash donations of $50 or more. In fact, we are already eligible to proceed to an important next step in the process: matching with a refugee family.

For more information on QRSG or to find out how you can help please visit our facebook page or e-mail us:  qualicumrsg@telus.net

Carol Doering, chair, Qualicum Refugee Sponsorship GroupQualicum Beach