Yukon Cares raises money, urges advocacy for refugee sponsorship

Yukon Cares, an advocacy group aimed at bringing refugees to Yukon, is raising money to sponsor a refugee family. Organizers say it was standing room only at a public meeting earlier this week, and an online fundraising campaign has so far raised more than $6,000.

'I don't think the fundraising will be difficult in this community because people really care' says organizer

Dozens of Yukoners attended a public meeting on Monday, to talk about how to bring refugees to Whitehorse. (Yukon Cares)

A newly-formed group in Yukon has raised thousands of dollars so far, in an attempt to bring a refugee family to the territory. Organizers say there was only room to stand at Monday's public meeting for people interested in helping out. 

Raquel de Queiroz, co-founder of the group, Yukon Cares, gave a presentation on Monday on the process of sponsoring a family in Canada and ways Yukoners can get involved. 

De Queiroz says many people expressed interest in being part of a sponsor group, responsible for a refugee family for one year. But she says the group also needs people interested in political advocacy. 

"[We're] going to need political engagement if we want to see refugees coming to this country, " she says. 

"Right now there is a bottleneck where the refugees can't come to Canada. It's not for lack of sponsors at all. It's because they can't get the visa." 

De Queiroz says volunteers will be needed to organize fundraisers, as it will cost $37,000 to house and feed a family of four for one year. People who don't want to be directly involved can donate to Yukon Cares through its Go Fund Me page. As of Wednesday, the site had raised more than $6,000.

Michael Dougherty, also with Yukon Cares, says sometimes refugee families can land on their feet in under a year, but that's the period of obligation from the sponsors. 

"It's just a question of how quickly people can join our community in a productive fashion," he says. 

De Queiroz isn't worried about raising the necessary funds.

"I don't think the fundraising will be difficult in this community because people really care."


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