After months of planning and searching, Team Sooke Juan de Fuca sponsorship committee has found a refugee family to sponsor in Sooke.
On April 28, the group reached a refugee family – parents and their two daughters, 13 and 20 – who was forced to flee when ISIS took over their Iraqi city.
“We emailed them information about Sooke and the private refugee sponsorship program, and they replied that they would be delighted to move to our community,” said Sharon Sterling, the committee’s communications coordinator.
The family is currently struggling to survive as refugees in Lebanon.
So far, the organization has raised $36,247 towards its goal of $50,000, and locating a family was just the first of many steps, as now begins the process of helping the family work through all the paperwork and security checks required for them to come to Canada.
Sterling said there are two stages to the application process.
“In the first stage we work with the family to fill out their application forms and get copies of all their documents,” she said, adding the papers are then sent to a central processing office in Winnipeg for verification. Once confirmed, the family receives an application number.
Following that, the family then waits to get an interview at the Canadian Visa office in Lebanon. If the interview goes well, the family will go for medical screening. Depending the results, the family will be allowed into Canada.
At least, that’s the plan.
“We do not know how long it will take for the family to complete [its] paperwork and screening,” Sterling said, adding the estimate is three months for the first stage and up to nine months for the second.
For more info, please go online to the Team Sooke Juan de Fuca Facebook page or here.