No one is a refugee by choice. Thousands of people are forced to flee their homes out of fear for their lives and liberty. Imagine leaving behind everything you know – food, culture, friends, family. Imgaine leaving behind your home, your possessions, your security. Imagine arriving in a strange land with only what you can carry. Imagine finding yourself in a refugee camp, living in a tent, wondering if you will ever be home again. CBOQ supports refugees in two different ways:
There are some refugees who arrive with literally nothing. They are not sponsored by any individual, church or group – but simply cross our border or arrive by plane with no way by themselves of establishing a new home. We are grateful for the ministry of Matthew House that give appropriate shelter that is geared specifically toward the unique settlement needs of refugee claimants. The first Matthew House, in Toronto, grew out of the vision of the need and a passion to respond, of Anne Woolger-Bell. As the Executive Director of the Toronto Matthew House, Anne and staff regularly speak at churches and other groups, educating the public about the plight of refugees and the need for people to reach out to them.
There are now five Matthew Houses in Ontario and Quebec:
The Canadian Private Sponsorship of Refugees program uniquely allows groups to sponsor refugees. Sponsorship is a commitment to ensure that sponsored refugees have the necessary support to integraTe into life in Canada. This is a legal commitment providing basic financial support and care for the sponsored refugee(s) for up to 12 months.
CBOQ acts as the “Agreement Holder” with the Government of Canada. CBOQ member churches may sponsor refugees as Constituent Groups under this overarching agreement.
The process can be challenging but also fulfilling. Helping a refugee resettle in Canada gives them a chance to be home again, a chance to rebuild their lives. You can help.
Interested in refugee ministries?
You may not be ready to open a Matthew House in your town, or sponsor a refugee. Other ways to participate are to volunteer, partner or fundraise. Contact Kevin Long CBOQ’s Refugee Liaison to explore opportunities.