Naramata support group waits for word on Syrian refugees; focuses on funding | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Naramata support group waits for word on Syrian refugees; focuses on funding

The Naramata Centre is pictured in this contributed photo.
Image Credit: Contributed
January 15, 2016 - 1:00 PM

PENTICTON - While the Naramata Refugee Support Initiative waits to hear about the arrival of Syrian refugees, the group is working on the financial aspect of housing the new citizens at the Naramata Centre.

Support initiative spokesperson Laura Gray says the group still has no concrete information on if, when or how many refugees can be expected in Naramata, but the group is continuing to make the necessary arrangements for them nonetheless.

“Government assisted refugees are now arriving into the Vancouver area." Gray says in a media release. "We know other South Okanagan groups are also preparing for arrivals, however these other groups have sponsored refugees, where we would be receiving government funded refugees.”

Gray says the Naramata initiative is attempting to sort out complexities of how to best receive donations from the public to help the refugees meet their basic needs.

“We are hoping to partner with a local charitable group for the financial piece, as well as create an easy online donation system with tax receipts available,” she says. The group hopes to soon be able to collect local donations.

The refugees will need assistance setting up households, additional clothing will be needed for all family members, and assistance getting children into schools and receiving care from Interior Health are other things that need to be considered.

Gray says the South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services Society will also play an important role as part of these refugees’ support network.

She says volunteers have already prepared rooms at Naramata Centre, which has also been supportive of the group’s efforts.

More information on the Naramata refugee initiative, or to volunteer, go to the group's website or email Maureen at

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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