Thursday, November 19, 2015

CIES Attends CCIS Syrian Refugees Project Forum

As a project lead in Calgary, the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS) was asked by the Government of Alberta to facilitate conversations about this issue by inviting community service organizations, public institutions, and other interested parties, to participate in two public forums and strategy forming sessions concerning the Syrian refugee crisis and its relativity to the city. Calgary is one of four ports of entry for all Syrian refugees entering Canada (along with Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver). The five cities assigned to take in refugees here in Alberta are Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Fort Mcmurray.

When it comes to our city, the aim of these forums was to provide context and information regarding the Syrian refugee situation at the international, national, and local levels; to mobilize community services and social infrastructure in preparing for the potential influx of refugees in Calgary and surrounding areas; and to identify best practices for addressing their immediate and long-term needs. Finally, a compilation of these strategies was forged into a comprehensive Task-force Plan, which was presented to all stakeholders.

Today, at the John Dutton Theatre in the Central Branch of the Calgary Public Library, was the second of two forums and revealed a working group of Task-force members who have been.charged with identifying best practices and a step-by-step plan for addressing the needs of refugees in the areas of: welcoming, initial settlement, housing, living expenses, employment, youth services and connections to other community services.

CCIS has been a community leader here in Calgary for nearly 30 years and all of us here at CIES are ready to support their efforts to facilitate and coordinate this truly important cause in any way we can. A thank you and congratulations to Fariborz Birjandian, Executive Director and CEO of the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, for the outstanding effort he and his team have put forth. His many years of leadership across multiple disciplines, organizations and cultural backgrounds, along with the many years of experience CCIS has in serving the immigrant community of Calgary. shone through and no doubt will continue to do so. For more photos of the event CLICK HERE. 

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