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Refugee Sponsorship Group Continuing Next Steps for Arrival of a Family in Williams Lake

Things continue to move along smoothly for the Williams Lake Refugee Sponsorship group who are hoping to have family a within the Lake City by early as March.

President of the Group, Paola Konge says although they may not choose to permanently stay in Williams Lake, their sponsorship remains important because you’re giving them opportunity.

She adds that what’s occurring internationally is as important as what happens locally.

“We continue to make our donations to other organizations and I think most Canadians do as well. It’s not about taking from one and giving to another. It’s simply about spreading around the wealth and generosity that we have.”

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Paola formed the group with her sister Kirsten who worked for the United Nations for 7 years last fall after getting in touch with the Immigrant and Multiculturalism Society.

Both of them moved to Williams Lake from Fort Nelson 2 years ago.

Mayor Walt Cobb and Council unanimously agreed during Tuesday’s regular council meeting to be committed to supporting refugees and all others who wish to make Williams Lake their home, although Councillor Scott Nelson said as much as he supports the Group’s initiatives he does not want to lose sight of the local First Nations who live in poverty.

The City had welcomed a family of Kurdish refugees from Iraq fifteen years ago who had called the Lake City their home for about a year.

The Sponsorship Group has currently received more than $25,000 in donations to sponsor a family of four to six refugees who may not be necessarily from Syria but Africa, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, or Pakistan, and are working to secure storage space for donations of furniture, clothing, and household items.

They’ll be holding a public meeting on Jan. 20 at 7 pm at the Immigration Centre on First Avenue North.

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