Crossed Hands Refugee Committee (CH) is a joint committee of St. Matthew’s and St. Paul’s (Fort Garry) Anglican Churches, which sponsors refugees under the Agreement that the Diocese of Rupert’s Land has with the Federal Government. CH has been sponsoring refugees for more than 30 years and has received over 200 arrivals. Currently we are waiting for about 150 more people to be accepted to come to Canada.
Over these many years, we have welcomed people from Iraq, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar in Asia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, Rwanda, Liberia, Ghana, and Zimbabwe in Africa, Guatemala and El Salvador in Central America, Chile and Colombia in South America and Kosovo in Europe.
We do different types of sponsorships. The majority of sponsorships are ‘family-link’ where families living here in Winnipeg ask us to sponsor their relatives who are often living in refugee camps. The families are the main support for the newcomers when they arrive. Over the years we have done ‘full-sponsorships’ where we are responsible for both the financial and social-emotional support for the family as they settle into life in Canada. We have also done joint sponsorships where the government provides the financial support and we look after everything else.
The work is done by a dedicated Committee with members from both St. Matthew’s and St. Paul’s. When newcomers arrive we are very busy; in-between-times are devoted to fund raising, helping families do the myriad of paper work involved in submitting a sponsorship and administering the files already in the Immigration system.
The rewards from this Ministry are bountiful: we encounter new and interesting and even become friends with people that we otherwise would not have the opportunity to meet; we witness the joy of families reunited after many years apart, and we know the satisfaction that with the sponsorship these people have the opportunity to start a new life here among us.
If you would like to contact Crossed Hands Refugee Committee email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about refugee ministry in the Diocese as a whole, visit www.rupertsland.ca