Journey Home Community working with local Afghans to aid refugees

Journey Home Community (JHC) provides refugee claimants in Canada with housing and settlement support. Founder John Dyck says:

In the last 16 years, Journey Home Community has helped resettle more than 160 refugees from Afghanistan. These are people who have become dear friends and are a significant part of our community.

Because of them, the events of the past few weeks in Afghanistan are not arms-length news bytes; these are family members, friends or previous co-workers of people in our Afghan community whose lives are in grave danger as the Taliban take over the country. It has been heartbreaking to watch.

JHC staff and some volunteers hosted an evening for our Afghan families August 20, to come together and seek ways to provide support for them; about 100 Afghans attended. Needless to say, there was much pain and great anxiety and fear in evidence from our Afghan friends as they yearn to rescue their families and friends from the terror of the Taliban takeover.

This is what JHC does best. We offer very practical resettlement support and assistance with everything from legal procedures, and finding more permanent living, getting their children into school, and the list goes on.

But far more importantly for our families, we provide supportive and caring relationships which are unconditional and essential for the well-being of people who have lost everything. In their hour of greatest emotional need, as they watched their country fall apart, they knew they could seek out JHC staff and volunteers for support and assistance.

Focus on advocacy

Alma, an Afghan refugee herself, is working with executive director Brad Kinnie and the Journey Home Canada team.

Journey Home Community has been gathering names and information from local Afghans to identify their vulnerable family and friends.

Supported by volunteers from our Afghan community and coordinated by Alma, who was herself a refugee claimant, we continue to process and then forward information through an MP’s office to the right people as well as to other advocacy groups.

As Afghan volunteers phone through to verify information, we are assisting past Afghan program participants in completing their applications.

A webpage updated with the most up-to-date information informs and supports Afghan community members:

Three ways to help

  1. Prayer: Pray that God intercedes in this situation bringing peace and safety, comforts Afghan families who are in distress and their family members escape to safe places, including Canada. To be included in the JHC prayer team, contact Brad Kinnie at [email protected]
  2. Support the Afghan community with giftsGifts equip JHC staff and volunteers as they continue to draw alongside the Afghan community
  3. Support the Afghan community through sponsorship:
  • Private Sponsorship: Journey Home Community is not equipped to do Private Refugee Sponsorship. However, many churches and community groups are.

Learn about Refugee Sponsorships (general Information): Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP); Government of Canada Refugee sponsorship requires a group to come alongside and provide financial and settlement support to an arriving refugee for a period of one year.

There are three types of Private Sponsorships:

    • Group of 5 Sponsorship: A group of five Canadian citizens or permanent residents working together to sponsor a refugee. RSTP Group of 5
    • Sponsorship Agreement Holders: A Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) is an incorporated organization that has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. The SAH agrees to sponsor a certain number of refugees each year for resettlement to Canada. RSTP SAHs

If you wish to sponsor through a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), click this link for a listing of all SAHs across Canada. Here are three local organizations:

Let us all pray for peace and safety for those Afghans who are vulnerable and persecuted.

Doug Peat works on Housing and Donor Engagement for Journey Home Community. Go here to learn more about their work.

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