Private sector donates $750,000 to Syrian refugees
Published Wednesday, March 16, 2016 9:13PM EDT
The private sector is helping Syrian refugees resettle in Montreal with a $750,000 donation.
The Foundation for Greater Montreal announced the fund Wednesday, saying it will be administered by the Red Cross to provide direct aid for refugees.
“It's really an open program,” said Yvan Gauthier, president of the foundation.“We let the organization explain to us the needs the refugees have.”
The top priority is housing, where Immigration Minister John McCallum said progress is being made across the country.
“The numbers we've received suggest that 69 per cent of the refugees that have so far arrived have been housed. Compared to 52 per cent just a few weeks ago, most of them should be housed by April, all of them for June,” he said.
Quebecers for a decade, Nada Daout sponsored her Syrian nieces and nephews, and took them in to her Longueuil home a few weeks ago.
“We were two at the house and now we are five,” said Daout.
“A lot of people brought over 1, 2, 3 families at the same times, so the difficulty is stretching an income over all of those families,” said Laurent Lallemand of the Refugee Sponsorship Program.
The next step is employment, but first, many require language training.
Daout's niece and nephews will have to wait.
“Yesterday they told me it takes three months to sign them in, we already signed them in, they're signed in, so we're waiting for the school to accept them,” Daout said.