Friday, April 22, 2016

CIES Attends Syrian Refugee Settlement Update Forum

Yesterday CIES attended the latest Syrian Refugee Settlement Forum at the John Dutton Theatre, where a detailed breakdown of the numbers were shared. By all accounts the local community of Calgary is being held up as an prime example of efficient, caring, organized planning and lauded as the best handling of refugee settlement in the country.

So many organizations have worked hard to make this happen that it's hard to acknowledge all. but CIES Community parters in settlement - Centre for Newcomers, Immigrant Services Calgary, Calgary Immigrant Woman's Association, Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth and the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society - would be a good place to start. So many other organizations, from the Distress Centre and the Calgary Food Bank to Women in Need and Neighbourlink, just to name a few, have contributed to the process and of course, the Office of the Mayor has been instrumental from the beginning. Additionally, the people of our great city have volunteered thousands of hours of their time to the process and all that has been done could not have been done without them.  If there was ever a time for the city to take a step back and be proud... this is it. 

And now, as was often said at the forum, the work begins. Settlement is long term process and there is still much to do. Further still, with about 65% of the total number of refugees arriving in Calgary being under 18 years of age, ensuring the future of our youth becomes a priority for all of us. Notwithstanding, with the many passionate community investors the City of Calgary has we will be more than up for the task. 

As of March 1st, the City of Calgary has taken in 600 government sponsored refugees, 690 privately sponsored refugees and 99 who qualify as a combination of both - for a total of 1399 refugees. These 1399 refugees are residing in approximately 260 housing units of varying sizes throughout the city. On top of that, 259 children have already been registered and are attending classes in the city's public school system. For more photos of the forum and more detailed breakdown of the numbers presented CLICK HERE. And congratulations Calgary on a job well done!

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