Refugees find home

Five Sointula families are hoping to provide refuge for a Syrian family.

Five Sointula families are hoping to provide refuge for a Syrian family.”My husband (Kees Docter) and I

decided to do this on the spur of the moment after hearing so many sad stories about the families and what

they have lost and gone through,” said Wendy Laughlin. “We in Canada are so fortunate to have such a rich

life, even those that maybe do not have a ton of money. We feel that a place like Sointula, a bit of paradise in

this world, is a great place for a war-torn family to be able to come to heal,” Laughlin said. After they decided

this was something they wanted to do, the couple put a post on the Sointula Bulletin asking for input on how

they could go about getting a refugee family to Sointula.The couple had such a great response, they decided to

move ahead with the process through the federal government’s Group of Five program.A Group of Five (G5) is

five or more Canadian citizens, or permanent residents, who arrange to sponsor a refugee living abroad to

come to Canada. All of the group members must be at least 18 years of age and live, or have representatives,

in the area where the refugee will settle. The group must agree to give emotional and financial support to the

refugees for the full sponsorship period, which is usually one year. The group must also provide a settlement

plan. For a family of four, Laughlin explained, the sponsors need $27,000, with $7,000 needed for start up.

Donations of rent, food, clothing, etc. have a monetary value and can be deducted from the $20,000 total.”The

federal government seems to want a Group of Five to do it, (however) we came to the conclusion that it would

be better to do it as a community. So much more support for the family and, of course, helps us, too,” Laughlin

said.”Many of us have committed to in-kind donations of material goods and small amounts of cash,” said

Laughlin.Laughlin has offered the use of her home.”If we cannot find somewhere else, we will hurry and get a

suite we have in the lower floor of our house finished so they can live there,” she said.”Connie Rock from

Mitchell Bay has been a huge help in finding the forms we need to fill out and doing the GoFundme page,” she

said.”We are now at $1,860 with our gofundme (account) and another $2,110 in private donations. That makes

a total of $3,970 of the $7,000 we are trying to raise,” said Laughlin.Dr. Pam Kystrow, another member of the

Group of Five, started a web page where people can go and offer different types of donations. Both the

gofundme and webpage links can be found on the group’s Facebook page ‘Sointula Refuge Group’. The group

is currently busy with paperwork.”Things have been going a bit slow as we need to make sure we have the

paperwork in order so no delays are caused by returned, improperly-filled papers,” she said.The group is also

putting the finishing touches on the family profile. “What we have to do is fill a form out that gives the

government an idea of our town and what we can offer so that they can choose a family that will most fit our

community,” she said.”I have written on the forms so far that we do not care, (where the family comes from),

but that we understand that people from Syria and Iraq are being expedited and we want a family asap,” said

Laughlin. The group has also specified they would like a family with young children.”We do not really know how

long it will take to get a family,” she said.”We also realize that they may not stay due to the job situations on the

North Island and if that is the case, we will do our best to assist them in finding their forever home.”

Just Posted

Bushido Shotokan Karate-do sends three to Provincials

15-year-old Isabella Schmidt goes the distance against black belts

VIDEO: Students help complete new NISS totem pole

“When you are done it’s beautiful hand-carved art”

Blaney warns fraudulent CRA tax calls are on the rise

“We are asking people to please be careful.”

B.C. hires 20 more conservation officers

The province announces 12 new locations for conservation officer services this year

Students ‘wow’ at Annual Regional Science Fair

Kids from accross the North Island show off their science projects

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Why some B.C. daycares didn’t opt in to subsidy program

Deadline passes for program aimed at laying foundation for universal child care

Charges follow collisions between pickup and police vehicles in Nanaimo

Majore Jackson, 32, and Andrew John Bellwood, 47, from Nanaimo, face numerous charges

Most Read