The Primate's World Relief Fund is encouraging dioceses across
Carolyn Vanderlip, facilitator for PWRDF's anniversary program, said the idea came from the PWRDF refugee network, which includes diocesan refugee coordinators and others interested in refugee issues and advocacy.
Many dioceses have helped refugees settle in
The 50 refugee families over the next two years will be selected the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and will have already been referred to
As to which countries future refugees will come from, Vanderlip said, "It's impossible to say, until we have the referrals. But
No totals have been kept of people helped, but during the past five years
Vanderlip said the refugee network has indicated they would be interested in families of two to five persons, in all age ranges. Worldwide, 80% of refugees are women and children. She said she hopes that parishes, or groups of parishes working together or ecumenically with other Churches, will commit to sponsoring families by providing up to one year of financial support, provide orientation, help them get settled, and "most importantly providing friendship and moral support."
"The refugees will not necessarily all go to large cities," said Vanderlip. "For some it may be beneficial to settle them in a smaller community, especially if their background was from a small village or community," she said.
Other events are planned for the 50th anniversary, including a commemorative service October 26 in
A 50th Anniversary Steering Committee has been set up, which from the Diocese of New Westminster includes Bishop