Canada’s federal government has pledged to welcome 25,000 government-sponsored Syrian refugees, with 10,000 Syrian refugees arriving in Canada by the end of this year and the remainder to arrive by the end of February 2016. YMCAs are already playing important roles in refugee support through our vast experience in immigrant and refugee services and through the full suite of YMCA offerings across Canada.
In one recent news story, the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford’s YMCA Immigrant Settlement Services team is mentioned as a key component of the Brantford community’s sponsorship of a five-member Syrian family due to arrive before the end of the year.
Many other communities are actively raising sponsorship funds, and will undoubtedly need the support of their local Ys, through programs like YMCA Newcomer Connections in Saint John, which is helping to educate the community by holding information sessions for those who want to provide support during the current crisis. The YMCA of Greater Toronto is working with volunteers, staff and community partners to welcome Syrian refugees through Association-wide initiatives across a broad range of programs and services.
At the YMCA, our ability to respond to the unique needs of communities in different ways has been central to our charitable purpose and a core strength over the ages.