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New Horizons – November 7, 2018

Mary & Paul Kraemer, with guest speakers Audrey & Pat Gleeson and Marianne & Mike Kraemer

A large group turned out for the meeting of new Horizon on Thursday November 7th at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre.  Guest speakers were Audrey and Pat Gleeson and Marianne and Mike Kraemer Community Leaders.  Their topic was  – A local response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

In December 2015 St. Teresa’s Elmira  decided to sponsor a refugee family from Syria and submitted an application in January 2016.  They sponsored a family of three.  Father, mother and a baby.  Their family arrived in May of 2016.  The group went through the BVOR (Blended Visa Office Referred)  program which is designed to resettle refugees identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees that have been referred to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).   This program was a cost-sharing arrangement between the IRCC for income support and the group at St. Teresa’s who contributed financially, socially and emotional support for the family for 1 year.  Many of these families are women and girls at risk or survivors of violence and torture.

“Both couples walked us through the time from when the family arrived in Canada up to the present day.  They told of the many people who volunteered their time in helping this family during the year.  The settlement of just one family, is something we often take for granted and don’t realize all the little details of support needed. ”

The next meeting will be on Thursday, December 13th  at the Maryhill Heritage Park Community Centre from 10 -11:30 a.m.  Admission is $2.00.  Guest speaker will be Sandra Bray, sustainable activist whose topic will be “Going Green while Going Grey”.  For more information contact Joan Haid (519) 648-2742 or jehaid@netflash.net

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