Continuing to care

Liberian refugees Emmanuel Nagbe and Elizabeth Williams arrived last month at the Erik Nielsen Whitehorse International Airport. They were welcomed by Yukon Cares members. Samuel Kyakuwa (left), who arrived in Whitehorse in April, 2018, president Raquel De Queiroz, Nagbe, Williams and treasurer Sarah Dobell

Yukon Cares, the local grassroots refugee re-settlement group, successfully supported the arrival of a family of two from Liberia in December.

The local organization arranged for the Liberian family to re-settle in the territory as part of the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) program. Through the BVOR system, re-settlement costs are divided evenly between the federal government and the sponsoring group. Fortunately, Yukon Cares was successful in its application for funding from a special support program, entitled the BVOR Fund, which will cover Yukon Cares’ sponsorship costs. The BVOR Fund is managed by the Refugee Hub and Jewish Family Services, both located in Ottawa, and the funding is supported financially by the Shapiro Foundation.

The family follows the Kyakuwa family of eight that arrived from Sudan last May. With six children to support, the Yukon Cares settlement committee has been assisting the busy Kyakuwa household to get involved and take part in programs and opportunities. The children are thriving in school and participating in activities in the community. One of the children has been enjoying soccer and the kids have all taken up skating and swimming. The Kyakuwa father is a mechanic who was working full-time, until a recent, seasonal layoff. Yukon Cares would like to thank the Whitehorse community for its support over the past three years. The world refugee crisis is not going away and the organization continues to seek creative ways to raise funds with the goal of bringing in another family in 2019.

The group is in need of financing to assist with supporting the current families, and future families. Since it’s the time of year to help our neighbours, Yukon Cares is asking the community to consider contributing toward refugee resettlement. Donations may be made through the website YukonCares.ca, under “Donate”.

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