Our Fellowship churches and donors have been incredibly generous during our FAIR emergency appeal for Ukrainian refugees. Since March 2022 we have raised $1.7 million toward the care and resettlement of refugees in Europe. However, we now have an opportunity to help Ukraine refugees resettle temporarily in Canada during the cold winter months. FAIR Project Coordinator, Denise Wicks, explains this opportunity:
“In response to the waves of Ukrainian refugees that have fled the invasion of their country, the Canadian federal government announced a special program to provide safe harbour. The Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website states that ‘Ukrainian nationals and their family members can apply for a temporary resident visa to travel to and stay in Canada temporarily.’ Between March 17th and October 26th, 645,000 Ukrainians have applied through this program, and 338,000 of them have been approved. In other words, the equivalent of 1% (or more) of the population of Canada will be arriving all across the country in the coming winter months.
“FAIR Director Dan Shurr recently spoke with the AEBEQ Region’s Refugee Ministry Coordinator, Antoine Houle, about the need for churches to step forward to help resettle Ukrainian families. Because Ukrainians are given fast-tracked visitors’ visas, they don’t have access to the same resources available to refugees. Antoine shared that the most urgent need is housing:
“‘We (AEBEQ) don't require any financial commitment for this project (from the church) as the Canadian government doesn't [require it] in the case of a Ukrainian family.
“‘Accommodation is definitely essential to help a Ukrainian family moving to Canada. Each family comes with different resources, so housing doesn't have to be fully funded. However, it is definitely a game changer for most families if someone from the church can provide a free basement, apartment, or simply a room for a few months to help the family land on their feet upon arrival, and take some time to settle and find a job.’
“If you’re interested in getting your church family involved in helping Ukrainian families resettle in Canada, contact FAIR to learn more about how to get started.”
Please pray about how God would have you respond to this opportunity and contact the Fellowship’s FAIR department if you are able to temporarily accommodate a needy person or family this winter.