Refugee Sponsorship Objectives Realignmed

November 18, 2013

For Immediate Release – November 8, 2013
Refugee Sponsorship Objectives Realigned

Globally the need for refugee sponsorship is diverse and demanding. Having sufficient local resources, both financial and human, to respond effectively is a continuing challenge. However, the chaos resulting from war and internal strife can also be a limiting factor.

The Diocese of Charlottetown, having been waiting patiently for Iraqi families from refugee camps in Damascus, Syria for almost two years, has decided to respond to other refugees in the interim. “It was appropriate for us to move ahead and devote our attention to others in need” stated Susan Brothers, Chair of the Diocesan Refugee Sponsorship Committee. “Given the need elsewhere, as well as our state of readiness locally to help, we unanimously concluded that we could not justify not reaching out to other refugees.”

The reality is that the processing of Iraqi refugees out of war-torn Syria remains problematic. The intention to support these would-be Iraqi refugee families, if and when they arrive, remains in place. However, the Diocesan Refugee Sponsorship Committee collectively agreed that, with the uncertainty surrounding the Iraqi refugees arriving in the near future, it would be best to re-direct energies and resources in the short term.

“There were opportunities for parish communities to step forward to sponsor refugees from other countries”, commented Susan Brothers. “I am pleased to report that sponsorship applications for refugees from Burma (now known as Myanmar) and Syria are currently being submitted. In the first instance the parish of St. Pius X is the sponsoring community, and in the second instance the diocese is collaborating with the faith community of Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox church.”

Refugee sponsorship, given the humanitarian need, is viewed as an essential outreach activity. The Diocese of Charlottetown, in accordance with core social justice principles is committed to such an objective and as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) organization on Prince Edward Island is prepared to collaborate with other faith organizations in sponsoring refugees to our province. For further information please contact 368-8005 or rc@dioceseofcharlottetown.com.

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