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Pictou County Safe Harbour prepares welcome for two families from the Democratic Republic of Congo this summer

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Pictou County Safe Harbour is looking for volunteers to help settle two new refugee families that will be arriving at the end of July.

“We have committed to sponsor one large family, a mom, a dad and five teen aged children, and a single mom who has two boys,” said Kailee Brennan, newcomer resettlement coordinator with the community sponsorship group.

Both families are from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and are coming to Canada through the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program, a cost-sharing program between the Canadian Government and local sponsorship groups like PC Safe Harbour.

“Typically, sponsorship groups raise their half of the funding, but in this case, there is funding available through the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub,” explained Brennan.

Through its founding donor, Ed Shapiro, the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub has established a BVOR fund, which helps local sponsorship groups cover their end of the cost associated with resettlement.

PC Safe Harbour has been engaged in refugee sponsorship since 2015/16, but this is the first time that the group has sponsored individuals from the DRC.

“We wanted to recognize that there are refugee situations in a lot of places, and we wanted to broaden our scope,” said Brennan in an interview. “We do think that New Glasgow has a lot of the ingredients to make this a welcoming and very successful sponsorship for these families.”

People who are interested in volunteering are encouraged to attend a community-wide meeting which will be held at the Pictou County Wellness Centre at 6:30 on July 16.

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