NANAIMO– The Refugee Response Team operated by the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society that is helping refugees settle in Nanaimo, Duncan and Victoria will be receiving $47,500– its second allocation of funding from the Refugee Readiness Fund.

Funding has been provided in two instalments with the first portion delivered in the spring and the remainder now based on updated settlement numbers. Supported by the initial $52,500 through the $1 million Refugee Readiness Fund, the Refugee Response Team will identify and prioritize short-term community needs to support a coordinated approach to helping refugees. Examples of the Team’s work include providing links with employers or other labour market opportunities and coordinating community supports.

The teams have representatives from the refugee service provider community: settlement organizations, private sponsors, churches, educators, health care providers and employers. The Ministry is continuing to engage with settlement communities across the Province to ensure they have the capacity to support any current and incoming refugees.

“I’m so proud to see how welcoming our island communities have been to these refugees, who are fleeing circumstances that most of us can’t begin to imagine,” says Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. “These funds will help newcomers access the services they need to become active members of our community.”

Quick Facts:

  • In addition to the $1 million Refugee Readiness Fund, the province funds a number of programs for all newcomers, including:
    • $1.5 million through the Canada-BC Job Grant to help get refugees job training and match them with employers;
    • $4 million for services for newcomers not eligible for federal services, such as:
      • Orientation and community connections;
      • Formal and informal language training and practice; and
      • Trauma counselling for refugee claimants.
  • Every refugee student who enrolls in a B.C. public school will be funded from the Province’s pupil funding formula.
  • Like all British Columbians, refugees have access to medical, employment and other government services.

To learn more, please visit the new enhanced WelcomeBC.ca which is streamlined, easier to use and available through mobile devices and social media: www.welcomebc.ca.