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Refugee Committee

(of Outreach)

All Saints Refugee Committee, formed in the fall of 2015, is a Constituent Group of the Diocese of Kootenay, a Sponsorship Agreement Holder with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

In the summer of 2016 we welcomed Dah Blel, Choe Kwae and their family. They came originally from the Karen (kah-ren) speaking part of Myanmar (Burma). When the Karen people were targeted for ethnic cleansing, Dah Blel and Choe Kwae fled to Thailand with their families and other survivors, where they lived in a refugee camp for about 15 years. They met, married, and started their family in the camp. Their life has changed immeasurably since coming to Canada: they can now communicate in basic English, using translators sparingly for important discussions or medical issues. Dah Blel and Choe Kwae are always polite, grateful for our help, and laugh with us regularly. The children are a delight, adapting quickly to Canadian ways (and weather!) and always trying new things with enthusiasm. Our formal sponsorship responsibilities ended in August 2017, but as they have become full and active members of our church community, and have continue to navigate extraordinary challenges that would tax the resources of any family, they remain a going concern for our Refugee Committee.

In April 2018 we welcomed Omar Haeder, a young Iraqi man, to Canada. The name "Omar" is associated with the Sunni branch of Islam, which became problematic in 2014 when he was abducted and abused for about three weeks by a Shiite militia group. He was lucky to have escaped with his life - many similar victims had not - so for his continued safety he was moved by his family to Amman, Jordan, but as a displaced person he could not work or go to school. Since his arrival in Canada Omar has applied himself to his studies with enthusiasm, upgrading his English and other subjects to a Canadian standard with a view to higher education, all the while holding down full time work. He is currently resident in Pitt Meadows, near his extended family.

Chris Harwood-Jones  Chair

Barbara Harris  Volunteer Coordinator

Lorne Adamson  Financial Support
Heather Cameron  Education Support
Ted Melanson  Housing Support
Diana Muir  Health Support

Sue Rooks