They are here!

The summer has gone by quickly and we are eager to regroup and discover how our sponsor groups have welcomed more families and are how everyone is settling in.  Our  next GBNN meeting will take place on Wednesday September 28th, 2106 at St. Andrew’s Church @ 7pm.  Please come to hear group updates, as well as have some conversation about the ESL program, employment readiness, and Information Grey Bruce 211.

Moving Forward

On October 21 we held our second Owen Sound and Community Refugee meeting.  Like our first meeting, we were delighted with the turn out, and the growing interest to work together to address the needs of refugees throughout the world.  Most of our churches and groups are still in the very early stages of the process, putting together application forms, gathering committee members to assist with the settlement process, or forming partnerships with other churches or groups.

It is evident that the Syrian Refugee crisis has brought the wider global refugee crisis to attention.  As a result, some groups will be sponsoring Syrian refugees, others will be looking to help refugees from other parts of the world.

Overall, the community council will be working together to support efforts to resettle as many refugees as our groups can support, and coordinate our support services to assist in the settlement process.

In the near future, we will be developing some kind of mechanism for identifying community skills and talents that will be helpful for our refugees (ESL training, housing experts, health care and education assistance, companionship, etc.).  More information on that to come.

Our most recent meeting notes are here.  Please feel free to get in touch with someone from our committee:  refugeesowensound@gmail.com

A Step Forward

As the media has been drawing our attention to the current tragedies experienced by Syrians as they flee a war torn country,  people all over the world are stepping up to respond.  The Syrian Refugee crisis has drawn attention to a much broader refugee crisis across the globe.  There are over 16 million refugees in the world today, many of them living in refugee camps for years, and even decades.   As governments consider how to improve their policies in order to bring relief and hope to this situation,  others are forming sponsorship groups to speak directly to the needs of families desperately searching for a new life.

A number of local and regional ecumenical groups and individuals met together this week to discuss how we might move forward in responding to the global refugee crisis through refugee sponsorship.  We are just at the information gathering stage right now, but as we move forward, more information will become available.

As we gather information, we will need to develop teams to handle support services, resource gathering, media and advocacy, as well as providing leadership for our community council.  If you are interested in exploring how you can be involved in offering hope and a new start for some of the world’s most displaced peoples, please get in touch.  You can contact Dana Benson at refugeesowensound@gmail.com.

Stay tuned for more details.