Recent images of a drowned Syrian toddler found lifeless on a Turkish beach have brought renewed attention to the ongoing refugee crisis, and have caused many Canadians to ask what they can do to help.
- 'How to sponsor a Syrian?' is Canada's top Google query on refugees
- Refugee crisis, drowned Syrian boy shift focus of election campaign
Chris Friesen, chair of the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance, told B.C. Almanac host Michelle Eliot that there are several ways British Columbians can help.
Friesen said people could provide donations to the international development organizations or directly to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
"Syrians like other refugees are going to spend another winter in the middle east and are desperate for tents, healthcare, supplies, food and so on," he said.
3. Get political
"We need to continue to put pressure on the current government of Canada to adequately support this emergency situation," Friesen said.
"We're in the middle of an election, so raise it in your all-candidates meeting.
Here's CBC's coverage of how the various political parties have responded to the crisis.
4. Become a sponsor
Refugees that come to Canada are either government sponsored, or privately sponsored. Privately sponsored refugees are sponsored by an organization or a group of at least five citizens or permanent residents (the "group of five" process).
These groups are expected to help their sponsored refugees begin their life in Canada, making settlement arrangements and providing financial assistance, generally for a length of one year.
Canada's Citizenship and Immigration website has an application guide for the private sponsorship of refugees.