This Canada Day, five Refugee Response Teams from throughout the province have received a second round of funding, sharing nearly $230,000 to continue helping refugees settle and integrate into B.C. communities.
Funding has been provided in two instalments, with the first portion delivered in the spring and the remainder coming now based on updated settlement numbers. The funding is part of the government’s $500,000 investment from the $1-million Refugee Readiness Fund to identify and prioritize short-term community needs and a co-ordinated approach to helping refugees. Examples of the teams’ work include providing links with employers or other labour market opportunities and co-ordinating community supports.
Organizations, service area and their funding amounts include:
MOSAIC, Metro Vancouver, $95,162
DiverseCity, Fraser Valley, $54,786
Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS), Vancouver Island, $47,500
Kelowna Community Resources Society, Thompson Okanagan, $20,691
- Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George (IMSSPG), Cariboo, $10,856
The teams have representatives from the refugee service provider community: settlement organizations, private sponsors, churches, educators, health care providers and employers. The ministry will continue to engage with settlement communities throughout the province to ensure they have the capacity to support any current and incoming refugees.
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Shirley Bond –
“There is nothing more Canadian than welcoming people from around the world, and this Canada Day we’ll see Refugee Response Teams throughout British Columbia receiving their second allocation of funding to continue their work supporting Syrian refugees. I continue to be amazed by, and extremely thankful for, all the volunteers and service organizations that are committed to helping newcomers build a new life in British Columbia.”
In addition to the $1-million Refugee Readiness Fund, the Province funds a number of programs for all newcomers, including:
$1.5 million through the Canada-BC Job Grant to help get refugees job training and match them with employers;
$4 million for services for newcomers not eligible for federal services, such as:
Orientation and community connections;
Formal and informal language training and practice; and
Trauma counselling for refugee claimants.
Every refugee student who enrolls in a B.C. public school will be funded from the Province’s pupil funding formula.
- Like all British Columbians, refugees have access to medical, employment and other government services.
The new enhanced WelcomeBC.ca is streamlined, easier to use and available through mobile devices and social media: www.welcomebc.ca.
For more information about federal supports for Government Assisted Refugees go to: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/ip/ip03-part2-eng.pdf
For more information on the Canada Job Grant and how to apply, please visit: www.workbc.ca