Refugee Sponsorship

 Updated May 27, 2016

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WKRP is pleased to announce that it received a grant of $1,000 from the Foundation’s Regina Rosen Food First Fund, enabling WKRP to stock a kitchen pantry for their first Syrian Refugee family, Oussama, Nawar, Aya and Retaj” who arrived on May 17, 2016 at Norman Rogers Airport.


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May 22 2016

OUR SYRIAN REFUGEE FAMILY, now newcomers to Kingston and Canada, arrived this past Tuesday evening after a long day of flights – Beirut to Frankfurt, connecting to Toronto, then on to Kingston (9:30 pm arrival) at the Kingston Airport. Oussama, Nawar, Aya and Ritaj were greeted by about 35 WKRP’ers and members of the Islamic Society and are now safely settled into their new home.   They are just beginning to experience the support of WKRP and the hospitality of Kingstonians and we ask that you keep them in your prayers as they adjust to a new life and start here in Canada.

A young family who fled Syria to Beirut after their house was bombed is expected to be soon on its way to Kingston thanks to a local refugee sponsorship agreement.
The UN-registered Al-Salkhadi family — Oussam, Nawar and their two daughters, Aya (3) and Retaj (1) — should reach Kingston in February or March. Oussam has been studying English Literature at university.

Working in collaboration with the Kingston Islamic Centre, and with The United Church of Canada as Sponsorship Agreement Holder, five churches and others from the community are raising money and attending to the paperwork involved in the relocation. The Islamic Centre of Kingston has pledged 25% per cent of the money needed to bring the Al-Salkhadi family to Kingston.
Local supporters formed the West Kingston Refugee Partnership (WKRP) in late September intending to bring at least two refugee families to Kingston. It is now a 29-strong working group.
Edith Rankin Memorial United Church led the formation of a coalition with four other west-end United Churches: Crossroads, Cooke’s-Portsmouth, St Andrew’s By-The-Lake, and Cataraqui, and other interested people from the community
Spearheading the group is the Rev Dr Jean Stairs, Minister of Christian Education, Outreach and Pastoral Care at Edith Rankin Memorial United Church. A recent Whig Standard article explains the program in more detail.
“Once funds are in hand for the Al-Salkhadi family, WKRP will set about sponsorship of a second UN-approved family that has been classed as “travel-ready” for several years on The United Church of Canada’s Blended Visa Office Referral list (BVOR),” she said.
The group will select its second family by giving consideration to the cultural, spiritual, language and community support systems Kingston can provide.

January 29, 2016

UPDATE ON WKRP (West Kingston Refugee Partnershi

Please hold any item(s) you wish to donate for our Refugee Family. Let Jean Stairs or Jim Crozier know about your item(s) and you will be contacted when/if it is needed. Thank you!

Our sponsorship application is almost through the UCC review process (Sponsorship Agreement Holder) and we anticipate it to be forwarded to Canada Citizenship and Immigration (Winnipeg Office) imminently for approval.  As we continue to finalize our settlement plans for the Al-Salkhadi family we are also beginning our application for a second family.  We now have $46,731 in the fund and received word this past week that we have been awarded $1,000 from the Regina Rosen Food Fund and $5,000 from Four Winds Presbytery, which will bring us to $52,731.  WKRP appreciates and is encouraged by all the support received to date.

February 14, 2016

UPDATE ON WKRP (West Kingston Refugee Partnership)
Our Private Sponsorship Refugee Application was approved our Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) The United Church of Canada and forwarded to the Canadian Immigration Centre (CIC) in Winnipeg on Monday Feb 8. We’re on our way to receiving our first family, the Al-Salkhadi’s! In January, WKRP received a proposal from the Islamic Society Kingston (ISK) to collaborate with them to bring a second Syrian Family and WKRP unanimously agreed to work with the ISK. The ISK will provide, through a private donor, the full financial commitment (up to $40,000) for our second family. As soon as the family is selected, WKRP will begin to assemble this second Private Sponsorship Refugee Application and establish a new Settlement Team comprised of both WRKP members and ISK members. The new Settlement Team will work on housing, furnishings, clothing, health, employment and language training, culture, recreation and spiritual support, etc.

All donations are being pooled and managed through a designated fund at Edith Rankin Memorial United Church. Individuals wishing to support WKRP can go to Canada Helps found on this page.

Go Fund Me Link


WKRP website

Article in Kingston Whig-Standard: 9 Dec’15: Click here

For further information:

Rev Dr Jean Stairs 613.634-0479; 613-389-2530