On March 6, 2016 the Catholic Register published an article by Michael Swan which discussed the growth of the Office for Refugees in the Archdiocese of Toronto. In describing this office, he points out that there are five staff and dozens of volunteers who put in crushing hours struggling with the stack of forms and reports that goes into every refugee sponsorship application. Their work days stretch into long nights meeting with volunteers to ensure parishes are fully part of the process of bringing refugee families into their communities. They keep in touch with hundreds of Toronto families who are waiting to be reunited with their refugee relatives. They check back in on the hundreds of refugees who have already arrived and maintain contact with thousands more around the world waiting to exit their camp.
On the same weekend that Canada surpassed its goal of bringing in 25,000 Syrian refugees, the Office for Refugees continues to serve a much wider world of refugees in Africa, Asia and Latin America. For seven years the office has averaged between 100 and 200 new cases annually. By Dec. 31 the Office for Refugees had submitted paperwork for 2,300 individual refugees. Those 2,300 new cases are added to an inventory of about 1,500 cases currently on the books.
So the Office for Refugees is hiring new staff and moving into new offices across the street from archdiocesan headquarters on Yonge Street in midtown Toronto. Luciano Moro, the community outreach worker says, “The work of refugees will not simply end tomorrow with the establishment or the growth of the office,” he said. “The more conflicts or situations where people are uprooted beyond our borders, the more the demand is for us to reach out and to help more people. That requires us to dig deep as a community and to reflect on how we can better be able to assist more people.”
Please read the entire article: Refugee office growth meets demand
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