Crossed Hands Refugee Committee

Annual Report 2021

This past year saw some improvement for our work over the previous one. Immigration (IRCC) began to arrange visas and then travel for some refugees who had been ready to come just before the pandemic put a stop to their arrival. We continue to be asked to prepare a 14-day quarantine plan for newcomers after arrival. Newcomers undergo COVID-19 testing immediately before travel and are only allowed to come if this is negative. Over the course of 2021, we had 10 arrivals involving 18 people in total. These are all family-linked sponsorships. The rise of Omicron and the internal conflict in Ethiopia continue to prevent the arrival of those who otherwise are ready to travel.

We made a decision to limit sponsorships because of our backlog and the then declining Committee membership but did submit 2 sponsorships involving 7 individuals.  Both are family-link which means that relatives here are co-sponsors and have primary financial responsibility for the newcomers when they arrive. One sponsorship was withdrawn at the family’s request because they returned to their home country. There were no refusals. As of December 31, 2021, we had 19 sponsorships still pending.

We continue the practice begun in 2019 of asking the Diocese to take deposits from the families wishing to sponsor their relatives. They are asked to deposit the actual amount of support that IRCC sets for a particular family size and when the newcomers arrive, the Diocese disburses the monthly support directly to the newcomers. This practice also establishes a paper trail if a specific sponsorship is reviewed by IRCC and we are required to show evidence of support provided.

Currently we have no families for whom our Committee is providing financial support.

We did no fund raising in 2021 but did receive donations.  We thank all of you for your continued prayers, support and contributions. We hope to be able to do fund raising sometime in 2022 with the chance to welcome everyone to bingo bowling again.

In 2020, we had a number of resignations from our Committee but in recent months we have had some interest expressed in our work by new people and Sheryl Bennett has also come out of semi-retirement to help us again. Once the pandemic has abated and Immigration is able to arrange for more arrivals, we may be able to take on more new sponsorships.  

Committee Members: Currently, the Committee is composed of: Kathy F (Chair), Phil B, Sheryl B, Caroline C, Gail S and Donna T. New members are ???