ABBOTSFORD – The Refugee Response Team operated by DIVERSEcity that is helping refugees settle in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford, will be receiving $54,786– 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 $70,599 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.

“Canada Day provides us an opportunity to reflect on how very lucky we are to live in a free and peaceful nation,” says Mike de Jong, MLA for Abbotsford West. “This investment will help provide the supports these individuals need to rebuild their lives.”

“DIVERSEcity does wonderful work for newcomers, who need some extra support so they can thrive in their new surroundings and become active members of the community,” says Darryl Plecas, MLA for Abbotsford South. “These funds support those important services they rely on.”

“Refugees are fleeing unimaginable circumstances, and are looking to build a new life and home here in B.C. – and we want to help them achieve this as quickly as possible,” says Simon Gibson, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission. “Thank you to DIVERSEcity for offering the supports they need to do this.”

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.