Refugees to arrive in Mission in March

For almost six months a committee of eight Mission churches, faith groups and more have been working to welcome these newcomers to Canada.

Three refugee families totaling 14 people will arrive in Mission the second week in March.

For almost six months a committee of eight Mission churches, faith groups, several non-profit service organizations  and community volunteers have been working to welcome these newcomers to Canada.

The families fled the Congo and have been living in a refugee camp in neighbouring Burundi for the past six years.

The families have now been approved for travel and entry into Canada. Their journey will take them on three flights that will last more than 25 hours, plus time at the airport as well as the drive to Mission.

Housing was arranged for them, starting Feb. 1, and furnishings have been donated, along with clothing and some household goods.

The Mission school district has offered two unused classrooms as temporary storage until furnishings can be delivered to the homes.

Because the newcomers are being privately sponsored, they will not be met by a government reception centre when they arrive.  Settlement assistance is being offered by Mission Community Services and a host of volunteers.

The 14 refugees speak Swahili, French and some English and describe themselves as being either Roman Catholic or Protestant.

There is still a need to raise funds to cover rent, utilities and other normal living costs for the first year.

Anyone who would like to help is asked to call 604-826-2445.