A group hoping to bring a refugee family to Castlegar is nearing the $40,000 required to get the ball rolling.
The Castlegar Refugee Project is hoping to sponsor a family of four from Myanmar who have been refugees for a decade and are now living in Malaysia. Malaysia doesn’t recognize refugees, so the parents can’t work and the kids can’t go to school.
Canada’s government requires enough money to be raised to look after essentials like groceries, clothing, and transportation before the process of bringing them here can begin.
As of late November, the group was at about $30,000, but previously requested $5,000 from the City of Castlegar’s grant fund.
A city staff report indicated that even with $35,000 the group will be able to proceed with the application this year.
Council unanimously agreed to give them the funds.
“Any opportunity we have to use that money for this kind of project would be well worth it,” councillor Cherryl MacLeod said.
“I’m very excited that they’ve almost reached their goal,” Mayor Maria McFaddin said. “That’s much sooner than I anticipated.”
The city sets aside $18,000 each year to support local organizations. Even after making the contribution, there was still $10,475 left in the fund. Councillor Sue Heaton-Sherstobitoff asked that it be carried over to next year.