Haitian Refugee Fund
Jean Dieusibon Juste and his son Abdul Charles are two of the 190 Haitian refugees/refugee claimants who now call Ottawa home. Many refugees are struggling to find the money to apply for Canadian Citizenship.
Gérard Étienne is a leader in the local Haitian community. He writes: "I am looking for cash donations to help many families pay for the cost of a citizen application, which ranges from $150 for a child to $550 for an adult. The situation is dire and requires immediate attention for two principal reasons:
1) For the sponsors who are unable to pay, for self or for the family, the application fees within six months of being accepted as refugees, they lose the privilege of being recognized as a refugee. They must then submit to Citizenship and Immigration a separate application to be recognized under humanitarian ground; a lengthy and uncertain process, which is a temporary measure which may lend itself to deportation back to Haiti.
2) If the sponsor is unable to submit an application for Citizenship and Immigration, Social Services is unable to provide proper accommodation and related services to help a speedy integration."
The Catholic Immigration Centre will handle the donations. Anyone who wishes to donate can write a cheque to the Catholic Immigration Centre Foundation. Be sure to note that it's for the Haitian Refugee Fund. A tax receipt is available upon request. The CIC's mailing address is 219 Argyle Ave. 5th Floor. Ottawa, ON. K2P 2H4. (Photo credit: Catholic Immigration Centre)