Refugee women in Cairo. The Kootenay Refugee Coalition is hoping to bring an individual or family to Nelson.

Kootenay group offers hope to refugees

The Kootenay Refugee Coalition is in the beginning stages of welcoming an individual or family to Nelson.

Would you like to give hope to people in desperate circumstances? The Kootenay Refugee Coalition is in the beginning stages of welcoming an individual or family to Nelson. The group has applied for sponsorship of a person or family who is deemed to be in greatest need and considered refugees by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The Kootenay Refugee Coalition will be responsible for all the tasks involved in the refugees’ initial settlement in Nelson. This includes providing housing and all furniture and household items; setting up English as a second language classes; finding access for medical and dental needs and more.

Beyond the tangible needs of our new community members the coalition will be assisting in developing day-to-day life skills and community support systems to aid in transition and settlement.

The coalition anticipates needing to raise about $14,500 for this sponsorship; this budget includes start-up costs and six months of support. Citizenship and Immigration Canada assists refugee-sponsoring organizations by providing six months of funding to refugee families.

Fundraising has just begun; there will be a variety of fun events. Direct donations over $25 will receive a tax receipt and can be given through Mana’eesh Middle Eastern Restaurant; Otter Books and the Nelson United Church office. Several furniture items are also needed.

Previously working under the name Nelson and Area Refugee Coalition, the Kootenay Refugee Coalition has sponsored four other refugee families to our community. If you are interested in supporting the coalition in welcoming refugees to Nelson, your presence and/or assistance is welcome. Contact bceditor@telus.net or on find Kootenay Refugee Coalition on Facebook

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