June 24, 2016 - To mark Refugee Week, the Community Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador has provided the Association for New Canadians with a grant of $25,000 to establish an emergency fund for Syrian refugee families in this province.
As of June 1, more than 240 Government Assisted Refugees from Syria have arrived in Newfoundland and Labrador, which is nearly double the total number of refugees that arrive in the province in a normal year. The Association for New Canadians delivers services to help these and other immigrants and refugees from around the world to settle and integrate in communities across Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Association will use the Welcome Fund grant to provide Syrian refugee families with interest-free short-term loans to assist those who are experiencing difficulties in meeting essential living expenses when they first arrive in the province. Families will only have to pay back 80% of the loan. When the loan is repaid, the money will be returned to the emergency fund so that it can be used to help other families.
The grant comes from Community Foundations of Canada’s national Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees, which supports local settlement efforts. The Welcome Fund was seeded by Manulife and quickly augmented by CN’s historic $5 million donation, as well as by generous support from GM and community organizations.
As Canadians join together in welcoming refugees from Syria, the Welcome Fund provides an important investment in their successful settlement in cities across Canada. Established to respond to an urgent gap in accessible and affordable housing, the Welcome Fund invests in community-driven solutions that enable recently arrived families to transition into suitable permanent housing.
“As a community foundation, one of our roles is to connect local organizations with national funding opportunities, so we are delighted to be able to facilitate this grant for the Association for New Canadians,” says Paul McDonald, Chair of the Community Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. “We want to give refugees from Syria here in the province, who are part of our next generation of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, the best possible start as they arrive and get settled here.”
“We greatly appreciate this contribution from the Community Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador,” says Megan Morris, Executive Director of the Association for New Canadians. “This grant will be used to establish a short-term loan program to support refugee families with their first months’ rent, damage deposit, or other start-up expenses. The emergency fund will assist many refugee families during the challenging first few months after their arrival in Canada.”
“Shifting refugees from temporary to more permanent homes is the first step in helping people and families to settle into their new lives in Canada,” says Andrew Chunilall, Chief Operating Officer at Community Foundations of Canada. “We thank CN, Manulife, and other participating partners for their support and invite other organizations to step forward to assist with our continued rollout of the Welcome Fund across the country.”
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION FOR NEW CANADIANS
The Association for New Canadians is a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to the provision of settlement and integration services for immigrants and refugees. For over 35 years, the Association has delivered programs and services designed to support all aspects of newcomer integration, ranging from settlement information and orientation, to language learning, skills development and employment. For more information, visit http://www.ancnl.ca/.