Mobilizing the communities of North Delta and Surrey with hope.
Coordinated by a Steering Committee of members from all four churches, along with other community members, this group aims to assist at least one displaced Syrian family through a private sponsorship process. Additional expected outcomes from this work include:
- deepened cooperation among the participating churches
- increased intercultural understanding
- strengthened community engagement
- education regarding Syrian culture and the settlement process
- recruitment of a network of volunteers within North Delta
The values guiding this project include respect, unconditional love, curiosity, sensitivity and service to our new neighbours and the community of North Delta. The Steering Committee brings self-discipline, boldness, integrity and transparency of communication to our process.
To date, this project has initiated:
- An information session with Maggie Hosgood of BC Conference’s Refugee Working Unit (The United Church of Canada) on October 29, 2015.
- An event called “Meet Your Muslim Neighbours” held at Trinity Lutheran Church on Thursday, March 3, 2016 with Mufti Aasim Rashid.
- The decision to sponsor a Syrian refugee family of four, currently sheltering in Lebanon, whose family members live in our neighbourhood.
- A community-supported fundraiser in cooperation with many partners at Alberto & Co Hair Care on Sunday, April 25, 2016.
- Gathering a list of interested community members as our volunteer base and offering a first training event for our volunteers regarding Syrian culture with Sireen El-Nashar of SUCCESS on July 7, 2016.
- Completion of the sponsorship application and submission to the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (The United Church of Canada) in September, 2016.
- Engagement with three Syrian Government Assisted Refugee (GAR) families living in our community, including providing rides to English classes and medical appointments.
- Collection and sharing of a “harvest” of fresh fruit, vegetables, and some kitchen staples with Syrian GAR families at Thanksgiving, 2016.
Future plans include
- A second opportunity for volunteers to attend a training event regarding Syrian culture.
- A training event for all our volunteers regarding settlement issues for newcomers.
- Welcoming our family, when they are cleared to arrive in Canada!
- Ongoing support for our family as they adjust to their new life here.