The parishes of Grace Church Markham and St. Philip's-on-the-Hill Unionville are jointly sponsoring a Syrian refugee family. This activity is operating under the name "Grace - St. Philip's Family Sponsorship". This name represents our two parishes, the families we represent and the family we will be sponsoring.
How We Are Helping
The Syrian refugee crisis is of global proportions. Over 12 million people have been displaced by the Syrian conflict. About 8 million are staying in Syria with the remainder in refugee camps in the area. Many people have been in these camps for 4 years with poor shelter, inadequate food, no work, no school and very limited health care. Our two parishes are doing a small part to help a family seek a better life in Canada.
We are sponsoring a family through the Anglican United Refugee Alliance (AURA) and have registered with them as a sponsor. All members of the steering committee have obtained the required police checks and all but one has completed the necessary AURA training. All paperwork has been signed off and submitted to consider us sponsorship ready.
With much consideration and discussion with AURA, we have articulated our ideal sponsorship criteria as a family unit that could be accommodated in a 3 bedroom apartment or home and that has some children under the age of 16 years. This means a family of 6 that may have 2 parents and 4 children, but could also include a mix of parents and grandparents/other family members, as well as children.
Now that the government has successfully received the first 25,000 Syrians and the immigration process has returned to normal, we have been advised that we are unlikely to be assigned a family until the fall. However, we have seized the opportunity we have been offered to sponsor a young Iranian man, currently living in danger in Turkey, who can be here within the next four to twelve weeks. Since we are going to be supporting both a family and an individual man the Diocese has approved our application for assistance and will contribute $13,500 to our cause once we have collected $61,200 and have been assigned a case by AURA. We anticipate that we will require about $82,000 in cash to sponsor both the man and the family for a year. While we have more than enough funds to support our single male, we continue to look for additional support for the family when they arrive.
We will continue to keep you updated on our progress.