September 10, 2021 – SAINT JOHN, NB – The news from Afghanistan is devastating. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and settlement agencies across Canada are responding to this evolving and tragic situation and are supporting the arrival of Afghanistan refugees to Canada.
As a Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) provider, Newcomer Connections is preparing for Afghani and other refugee arrivals in Saint John in the coming months.
Newcomer Connections has long-standing experience and expertise responding to major resettlement initiatives, such as welcoming arrivals from Syria in 2015. The Saint John community responded to this crisis with amazing volunteer support and we are hoping to see our city step up again. While we are not currently seeing the same volume of arrivals as the Syrian response – we will see an increase in the frequency of arrivals.
The YMCA of Greater Saint John’s Newcomer Connections is seeking volunteers to help our ongoing work of welcoming refugees. You can help the YMCA welcome newcomers into our community by volunteering with our First Friend program, where you’ll have an incredible impact in the lives of newcomer families. You’ll help families with things as simple as directions, helping them shop for the first time, and navigating various resources in the city.
This role works alongside the Resettlement Counsellors who are responsible for assisting newcomers during their initial weeks in Canada, to ensure they feel supported in their new community. The refugee-background clients are in a new country, a new city, with a new language, new food, laws and culture and they may be alone, with no family, contacts or friends. Volunteer support is essential in smooth transition.
We’re also seeking Arrival Support Volunteers. This includes shopping for necessities such as furnishings, moving into permanent accommodations, and interpretation services (Somali, Swahili, Dari, and Pashto).
Contact our team (+1-506-646-2396, firstname.lastname@example.org) or apply online to become a volunteer: https://saintjohny.ymca.ca/volunteer/. There will be information sessions coming up as well – check out our social media for dates and times.
Other ways you can help refugees include:
Newcomer Connections is accepting monetary donations for its Newcomer Assistance Fund. The fund supports newly-arrived refugees, including Afghan citizens who may arrive in our community in the coming months, with urgent special and/or emergency needs in situations where the costs are not eligible for government funding.
Newcomer Connections will provide a tax receipt for donations greater than $20. Please provide your full name, accurate address and contact information when you make a donation and require a tax receipt.
Please visit our webpage for further details on how to donate: https://saintjohny.ymca.ca/newcomer-connections/
For further information on the Afghanistan resettlement program and who is eligible, please visit: Supporting vulnerable Afghans – Canada.ca
For further information on the Canadian government’s response please visit:
Canada’s Response to the Situation in Afghanistan
Support for Afghan citizens with travel authorizations to leave Afghanistan
Canadians and Permanent Residents in need of consular assistance in Afghanistan
Immigration Program for Afghans who assisted the Government of Canada
- Available both inside Canada and abroad
- Monday to Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ET)
- We’ll accept charges for collect calls or calls with reverse charges
Reuniting Afghan nationals with their families in Canada
Humanitarian Program to Resettle Afghans Outside of Afghanistan