Life as a Refugee

  • RSTP webinarDate: Friday, Dec 13, 2019
    Time: 1:00 - 3:00pm AST

    This webinar hosted by RSTP will cover the following topics:

    • the importance of keeping IRCC up-to-date with any changes in circumstances
    • who to contact with changes to an application
    • when to contact someone about changes to an application
    • how to add dependents to an application post-submission (due to a birth, a marriage, or other family composition changes)

    To register for this webinar, click here.

  • The garbage dump in Lesbos contains a powerful symbol of the number of refugees risking their lives by sea.

  • Syrian refugees are not only fleeing ISIS.

    Human Rights Watch has investigated some of the stories of leaked photos of detainees killed while in custody of the Syrian government and produced this video.

    *** contains mature content ***

  • Our thanks to Antecessor Rapid Response (www.antecessor.org/) for allowing us to share this video which shows how the church is reaching out and caring for refugees passing through the the Balkans: an example of love for churches everywhere to emulate in their local response to the worldwide refugee crisis.

    This is the Gospel sharing love for others that Jesus has called His church to live out in their communities and around the world.

  • Haitian refugees at Quebec borderIn recent weeks, the number of new asylum seekers, mainly from Haiti, crossing the US border into Quebec has risen dramatically. On Friday, August 11, as many as 1,200 people were waiting to file refugee claims in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Quebec.

    UNHCR Representative Jean-Nicolas Beuze was interviewed on CTV News to address the situation. Watch the 4 minute video below to find out: why so many asylum seekers are heading to Quebec, why they are leaving the US, if there is any substance to the fear that the province of Quebec will be overloaded by the sheer number of refugees, and what determines if an asylum seeker can stay in Canada.

  • bibleFor those who want to inform and position themselves to be a voice for truth in refugee crisis conversations, there are Bible studies, books and documentaries available.

    This listing will be updated as new material is discovered. If you are aware of something that may be useful to others, please let us know and we will add it to the site.

    Bible Studies

    Refugee Highway Partnership has made available a 3-lesson Bible study by Marike Blok simply called "Refugees" available for downloadby anyone who would like to use it. A guide for facilitators is available here.

  • flag pakistanIn our world today (2019), Pakistan is ranked by World Watch List at #5 of the top 50 nations where "it is most dangerous to follow Jesus," ahead of Sudan (#6), Eritrea (#7), and Yemen (#8).

  • computer mouseOne of the blessings and the challenges in this work are the conversations with people who have been forcibly displaced. Most of those ‘conversations’ happen by way of email, but having been at this for 3 years now, there are more happening via Skype, Facebook Messenger and phone.

    I would like to share 2 of those conversations with you here. English is not their first language. In order to protect their identity I have changed their names, but I have preserved their words, their message to us …

  • This aerial footage shows the total devastation of the city of Homs, once Syria's third largest city and a major industrial hub.  Close to 1 million people no longer live here; those not killed are seeking refuge somewhere.

  • hany unhcrAs we get further and further along in this humanitarian crisis of displacement and people forced to flee for their lives, more and more have come to Canada and are resettling into a new life here.

    This month, we would like to high-light the story of 22-year-old Hany Al Moulia who fled Homs, Syria a year after his youngest brother was born in March of 2011. After graduating high school he knew "he would be conscripted into the army. And then his cousins were murdered in their homes. It was time to get out."

  • A Samaritan's Purse video showing some Syrian refugees arriving on the shores of Greece.

  • silhouette 3Written by Ann Sparrow

    In October 2016 Fahad* contacted us - he said he found our name on a site of sponsoring churches. We were surprised because we didn't even realize that our names were on any list, so it was something definitely not on our radar at that time.

    We checked his story out through some missionaries to make sure that his story was true. Having found that out and feeling that this was perhaps a direction God was leading us in, we brought it to the church. There was full support from the board, and many of our church folk immediately showed a lot of interest.

  • Faith Community Church begins a sponsorship of a refugee family.At this point, it is still a waiting game but way more so for Ruth and Joseph* and their three children.

    We first began the process of sharing the vision for this with the congregation of Faith Community Church in January 2017. It was formally agreed to by the congregation in February.

    We worked closely with our SAH (the Alliance Church) and their representative Hannatu as she helped us work through the thorough template they have crafted for sponsorship. That process took us about two months as we emailed back and forth with Ruth & Joseph getting them to fill in their documentation even as we did ours. After the initial review of all our paperwork, our SAH then sent the file on to Immigration Canada. This was an invaluable time saver as it virtually eliminated all the mistakes we might have made and saved the time of resending.

  • Psychologist Arthur Aron said that four minutes of eye contact brings people closer to each other better than everything else. In this video Amnesty International experiments with that idea by pairing up Europeans and refugees who have never met before.

  • dadaab camp kenyaDadaab, Kenya, is an area of 5 refugee camps that was home to 329,811 people as of October 2015. Laura Secorun Palet has written an excellent article on this refugee camp that has become a city - a reminder to us all that the worldwide refugee crisis extends far beyond the current Syrian conflict.  

    You can read her article here.

  • What is the Refugee Highway? Where is it? Who travels this Highway?

    This 6 minute video will answer these questions and describe how the church is particularly equipped to respond with the compassion, grace and love of Jesus to those who find themselves on it. 

    We encourage every congregation to watch and then pray to understand how they should respond to the ongoing global crisis.

  • When the unlikeliest of people are helping others it's an opportunity for self-reflection by those who should be the likeliest. Regardless of your politics and prejudice, "none of that matters here on the beach."

  • JAS 19 0836ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Winnipeg, MB
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Syria
    FAMILY SIZE: Nine

    A Syrian man, aged 42, accompanied by his spouse and their seven children, has completed six years of education and has worked as a plumber and pipe fitter. He is fluent in Arabic and has some English language training.

    His spouse is a homemaker. The family has received settlement support. Six of the couple’s children are registered for school, and one is fully dependent on his parents.

    Medical needs: The father has withdrawn from English language training due to the ongoing medical needs of their youngest child. This has prevented the family from engaging in other settlement services and accessing various community resources.

    Sponsor assistance: A sponsor could: give the family a support system to help with their daily challenges; allow them to dedicate the time necessary to develop their English language skills; help them to fully connect and integrate within their local community; provide informal English practice; and, assist with managing the child’s ongoing medical appointments.

  • JAS 19 0836ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Hamilton, ON
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Somalia
    FAMILY SIZE: One

    A Somali woman, aged 26, who arrived in Canada in late 2018, is hospitalized due to a disability.

    Medical needs: She suffers from an untreatable muscle disorder which will worsen over time. She is paralyzed, unable to move her arms and is slowly losing the use of her hands. She cannot go anywhere by herself. The hospital does not offer English training.

    Sponsor assistance: A sponsor could: reduce her feelings of isolation and loneliness through social, psychological, and emotional support; introduce her to the community to allow her to expand her social connections and build positive relationships with new people; and, informally help her practice English.

  • JAS 19 0836ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Calgary, AB
    COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Syria
    FAMILY SIZE: 4

    This single mother from Syria and her three children arrived in Calgary in late 2018. The children have adapted well to school and are learning English.

    Special needs: The mother struggles with prior trauma, and has difficulty in caring for her children while adjusting to life in Canada.

    Medical needs: Each of the children have asthma, requiring frequent medical appointments. The youngest daughter suffers from a blood disorder, which requires additional medical support. The mother suffers from back pain, which makes it difficult for her to attend resettlement programs and language classes. She feels isolated and lonely, and has difficulty sleeping.

    Sponsor assistance: With the support of a sponsor, the mother could focus on her own integration by attending language classes, counselling sessions for past trauma and employment programs. A sponsor could help her understand and navigate the health care system.

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