Nfld. & Labrador

Groups team up to bring Syrian refugees to Newfoundland and Labrador

Several are working to help bring refugees to the province, and met on Monday night to discuss sponsoring Syrian families.
ANC program co-ordinator Ken Walsh is hopeful that his organization can bring more Syrian refugee families to Newfoundland and Labrador. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

In the wake of the Syrian refugee crisis, a number of groups in Newfoundland and Labrador are working to help bring Syrian refugees to this province. 

The Northeast Avalon Refugee Sponsorship Committee held a public information session on sponsoring refugee families on Monday night.

The Association for New Canadians in St. John's is just one group working to provide refugees with a new life. The association said there are plans in place to bring at least two families of Syrian refugees to the province, but they want to see more.

"With support from the community, I think Newfoundlanders and Labradorians could do a lot to help bring Syrians here," said program co-ordinator Ken Walsh.

"I'm very pleased and I'm very hopeful to continue with the momentum we've built so far and bring some more families here."

Walsh said the association is also sponsoring a third family, while working with eight other organizations to help out more Syrians fleeing the country. 

Setting up a support system

The Association of New Canadians will be leading a presentation for those interested in sponsoring Syrian refugees on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Crow's Nest Officer's Club. 

Walsh said he doesn't think the recent attacks on Paris will prevent Newfoundlanders and Labradorians from welcoming refugees. 

A Room for One is a newly-formed volunteer organization also working to provide support to Syrians. The group needs help to bring a family of refugees to the province, and met on Monday to discuss the necessary financial and volunteer commitment.   

According to representative Mike Dwyer, A Room for One may have only recently formed, but is eager to help. He said it's important to build public support, get the refugees here as soon as possible, and set up a solid support system.

Their goal is to settle a family of four or six Syrians in the capital city.

With files from Jeremy Eaton

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