Refugees face paperwork challenge

In early November I sent 76 pages of documents to the government. The paperwork was returned as we had missed two items

Editor: The Times

I am writing in response to the editorial titled “A Refugee Reaches out to help Fort McMurray’s displaced,’ printed in the Dec. 22, issue of the Times.

Eleven months ago Clearwater welcomed Syrian newcomers to our community. After a time of settling it became clear that Kamloops would be a more suitable home for the family. A recent visit to the family found them healthy, employed and learning English. The children are thriving.

In September, the Refugees and Friends Together in Clearwater group was asked to sponsor another family to reunite with family members already living in Kamloops. After much research and consideration it was agreed we would undertake this new project. This sponsorship is called a community sponsorship and is a different program than the program our first family came under.

Our group has changed its named to Clearwater Sponsorship Group.

Despite the fact the family that we will sponsor has some English there have been many challenges with them completing paperwork correctly. In early November I sent 76 pages of documents to the government. The paperwork was returned as we had missed two items. With the items included the paperwork has recently been sent back to the government. It may take up to a year or more for this process to be complete.

I want to thank all the generous and kind folk of Clearwater and area for continuing to support others in this world who have struggles we cannot comprehend. May Peace, Joy, Hope and Love be your constant companions as you move along your path and into the New Year.

Sandra Holmes

Clearwater, B.C.