December 20, 2016

Friends of Refugees Trail (FORT) is pleased to have made a successful application to sponsor a family of three, from Pakistan.  Mom, dad and baby girl, aged 2, currently reside in Thailand where they fled to escape religious persecution, including threats of violence and death.

Although they have been given refugee status with the UNHCR, they are still living in Thailand illegally, without any official documents.  Consequently, they live every day in fear.  Police raids are frequent and the consequences of being arrested are long-term detention and/or deportation back to the home country.

While FORT continues to make plans to welcome this family to the Trail community, they are well aware of the obstacles.  “There are no guarantees and no timelines in cases like these”, stated FORT committee member Lloyd Joyce, “ We will continue to prepare for the arrival of this family and it is our greatest hope that the process will be a smooth and quick one”.

Meanwhile, FORT continues to move forward towards their goal of $30,000, which will be used to care for this family during the transition into Canadian life in Trail.   “We are two-thirds of the way there with a balance of $19,500”, says Joyce.  “We are grateful to the local community who generously supported recent fundraising efforts at Canadian Tire, Ferraro Foods, Colander and Bottle Depot.

Jan 19 2016 refugee committee 002

They are Coming (WKFoR)- Rossland Update:

We just don’t know when.  We are waiting nervously for a call to plan for the arrival of our family of four and the single woman being sponsored by the Scotts in Fruitvale. We have requested that the agencies handling transportation arrange for them to land at the Trail airport, but if the weather doesn’t cooperate it may mean a trip to Kelowna or Cranbrook.

Preparing a Welcome

Virginia Clover is hoping to prepare a sign in Arabic for us to take to the airport to welcome our new family.  With the help of Catherine Adair, she has located a couple of local resource people – Hakim Aitami (who speaks Arabic and Waseem Saeed who can read and write it).

Virginia has also been researching cultural customs that we can keep in mind when interacting with our new guests.  Direct eye contact is okay and considered polite, but touching someone of the opposite sex is not. It’s probably best to avoid using your left hand to pass food etc. since it is considered taboo.  Feet can also be considered rude, especially if the soles are pointed at someone.

News Jan 18 2016 -Trail

Dennis was invited by Pastor Ken Siemans of the Alliance church to talk at their prayer breakfast on Sat Jan 16 with the support of Einer and Ian.  Dennis reported that interest was high and went well, Ian Scott also shared how he and his wife Melva are expecting a young lady from Syria through the private sponsorship program.

We had the opportunity to attend a great service at the Peace/Trinity Lutheran Church, and received a warm welcome from Paster Ron Abresch and appreciated the opportunity to fellowship with the congregation over a light lunch. Thank you.

We attended the prayer service at the Gateway Christian Life Church with Assistant Pastor Susan Taylor. Thank you Susan for your warm reception and kind words of support.

Fr. Bart has informed the other church ministers what is happening at the last Ministerial meeting Jan 12, 2016. Thank you Fr. Bart for your generous support and direction.

We need:Trail

1 – someone to lead the fund raising committee.

2 – to help compose news content for the website.

West Kootenay Refugees of Rossland has requested our support for their upcoming Concert “Music of Vienna” Feb 13 Saturday at 7:30 pm at Muriel Griffiths Room at Charles Bailey Theatre Selkirk Colledge, Trail.

Contact Melva Scott: Admission by complimentary donation. Please register early limited seating of 100.

Hope to see you there.

Dennis Cook

Good morning;
Our first meeting was held at the home of Dennis & Paulette Sunday Dec 13 2015.
With 12 in attendance, the discussion was relaxed with plenty of input regarding the challenges ahead.
We have moved forward a little closer to forming the committee to sit around the table. Still plenty of preliminary work to do.
More research is being done in setting up finances & official paper work with the SAH in Kelowna.
Looking for help in building & running a web site as well as a face book page.
Our next meeting will be in the New Year, Jan 14- 2016 place to be decided; Your input much appreciated at that time.
A list of the tasks that need attention: go to volunteer page.
Hope to see you at next meeting.