“Our board and members believe that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy community,” said the board’s past president Jason Finlayson. “Being in a position to offer sanctuary to families who are fleeing Syria is an incredible feeling. We hope that our donation will help make like a little easier for the refugees.”
CIS offers a variety of services for refugees, including translation interpretation, trauma support, employment support, settlement assistance, free English classes and professional mentoring.
The society began holding public information sessions on the Syrian refugee crisis in the fall and introduced the concept of refugee sponsorship. So far, two families have arrived on Vancouver Island and there are another seven private sponsorships in the works. The CIS is awaiting news on up to 12 families hoping to resettle in the valley.
“We are so appreciative of the support we received in our community,” said the society’s executive director Lynn Weaver. “(This) contribution will have a lasting impact on the area as a whole because we all benefit when newcomers integrate effectively into our communities.”
The Vancouver Island Real Estate Board donation falls under the REALTORS Care® umbrella celebrating the philanthropic work performed by REALTORS®, real estate boards and associations across Canada.