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Boissevain has been approved to sponsor a family of three from Eritrea

PRESS RELEASE: Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Boissevain Resettlement Committee has recently been approved to sponsor a family of three from Eritrea. The family includes a couple and their infant child.

Eritrea’s dismal human rights situation, exacerbated by indefinite military conscription has led thousands of Eritreans to flee every month. A UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea concluded in 2015 that the Eritrean government engages in “systematic and widespread human rights violations” carried out “in a context of total lack of rule of law.” Eritrea has no functioning legislature, independent press, or semblance of civil society organizations since 2001. -Human Rights Watch, www.hrw.org/africa

Eritrea’s Human Rights Index is 0.39, ranking 186 out of 188 countries and territories.
The sponsorship is classified under the Blended Visa program, meaning the Government of Canada will provide up to six months of income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP), while BRC and our donors will provide another six months of financial support and up to a year of social and emotional support.

The committee and volunteers are working to finalize renovations and secure furnishings for a rental property in town.

Arrival dates are estimated at 1-4 months.

The committee is grateful to the community at large for it’s support of this endeavor from early inquiries in September.

Financial support can be made with tax-deductible receipt through the Town Office or the following churches: Boissevain Mennonite Brethren, Whitewater Mennonite, and St. Matthew’s Anglican. Direct deposits may be made at Sunrise Credit Union (without receipt) to: Boissevain Resettlement Committee.

Other ideas for support or offers of gifts in kind may be made by contacting: boissevainresettlement@gmail.com

Announcing the Boissevain Resettlement Committee

The newly formed Boissevain Resettlement Committee is confident our community has what it takes to support a refugee family. We’ve helped people from a variety of backgrounds and locations recently (and over the past century) become solid Canadian citizens. And, we have the generosity to give another refugee family a new opportunity.

It’s not certain where the refugee family will come from. It is clear, though, that the image of the Syrian boy on the beach inspired this sponsorship process. That image, dominating news around the world, compelled parishioners from local churches to ask their pastors to initiate a refugee settlement process. This they’ve done.

The Boissevain Ministerial invited a refugee sponsorship coordinator to a public meeting on Nov 1 to help determine where the greatest need for sponsorship comes from and if our community is ready to sponsor. The Syrian crisis is top of mind for most of us, but there continue to be high needs for assistance to people fleeing violence from a number of regions around the world. In early December another well attended meeting struck a committee to take the process forward as a broad based community initiative.

The Boissevain Resettlement Committee (BRC) will represent our community to the agencies who choose refugees so as to find the best match. The committee is looking for available accommodations. They are also fundraising and collecting names of volunteers. Depending on where the family comes from and the health and security clearances necessary, we could see arrival of a family as early as Spring 2016.

The BRC asks the Boissevain-Morton community to rally behind this effort; to help anticipate and prepare for a family who has been traumatized and who will surely contribute to our lives in ways we can’t imagine. We have what it takes - to give and to receive.

Donations.

If you prefer a tax deductible receipt, make your check out to the local church of your choice with a note saying ‘Boissevain Resettlement Committee’. If you do not need a tax-deductible receipt, please drop your check, or make your transfer, at the Credit Union.

Housing.

If you know of accommodations that will be available, please email the committee.

Volunteering.

If you want to help, please send an email or call Tom Guenther at 204.534.8627.

Information.

To invite BRC representatives to speak to your group, please send an email.

Media.

Please call/text Heather Goertzen 204.305.0800 or text Herman Dyck 204.534.0585

or email boissevainresettlement@gmail.com

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