Vancity donation supports Vancouver refugee resettlement efforts

Vancity donationVancity’s Catherine Ludgate (centre) presented the cheque at ISSofBC Drake Street to a group of Syrian refugee women participating in an Arabic speaking peer support group along with ISSofBC and VAST representatives.


Vancity Credit Union, its members and staff donated $100,000 yesterday to support  three local immigrant and community serving organizations for their resettlement programs and services for refugees.

ISSofBC, Vancouver Association for the Survivors of Torture (VAST) and Mount Pleasant Family Place will all receive a portion of the Vancity donation to support an array of programs and services.

Chris Friesen, ISSofBC Director of Settlement Services, said the organization will utilize the generous contribution to expand Arabic speaking refugee and immigrant youth programs at the ISSofBC Welcome Centre due to open this June.

Mount Pleasant Family Place will use the funds for refugee children related activities while parents participate in programs such as the ISSofBC Multicultural Peer Support Group for Immigrant and Refugee Women.

VAST Executive Director Dylan Mazur said his organization primarily offers services to refugee claimants however with the assistance of the Vancity donation he plans to expand services to Government Assisted Refugees (GARs).

Catherine Ludgate, Manager of Community Investment at Vancity, presented the cheque at ISSofBC Drake Street Wednesday morning  to a group of Syrian refugee women participating in an ISSofBC Arabic speaking peer support group.

The group meets once a week to share their experiences in Canada and discuss topics ranging from parenting to how to access community services.

The $100,000 is the second donation provided by Vancity, its members and staff towards the Syrian refugee crisis. The first was a $100,000 contribution to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) towards the refugee crisis  needs within the Middle Eastern region. Vancity plans to launch another refugee fund appeal in the near future to support local initiatives in Abbotsford and Victoria.

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