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Partner Contribution: Immigration Partnership in Waterloo Region

Hello all World Refugee Day Supporters,

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to this blog! The Immigration Partnership is proud to be a champion of World Refugee Day Kitchener-Waterloo for both its efforts in highlighting the spirit, courage and resilience of refugees globally as well as in recognizing their local contributions. As a community, we are truly at a loss if we do not create, expand and sustain opportunities for refugees to work, settle and belong in our region.

For those of you who are not aware, the Immigration Partnership is a community-wide initiative focused on facilitating the successful settlement, integration and community involvement of immigrants in Waterloo Region. The work of the Immigration Partnership is guided by the Community Action Plan (CAP). The update of the CAP was recently launched in March 2014. It includes strategic directions, priorities and many possible activities across the 3 pillar areas of settle, work and belong. To access the full CAP report, please visit http://www.immigrationwaterlooregion.ca/CAPFullReport2014-2016.pdf .

There are several activities included in the CAP that speak to the importance of providing supports for refugees as they navigate their way through the complex journey of settling in our community. Presently, a key related priority for the Settle Pillar is to develop supports for refugee claimants specifically geared toward their first eight weeks in Waterloo Region. It has been identified that this initial period is critical for refugees as there are often little or no supports to assist them during this time. The Settle Steering Group has identified a need for collaboration with stakeholders in order to develop and expand supports for refugee claimants in the areas of personal needs items, food, clothing, housing, transportation and healthcare. To discuss ways to get involved in supporting this CAP priority or other areas related to refugees, please contact Daniella McIntosh at 519-575-4757 ext. 1233 or dmcintosh@regionofwaterloo.ca.

SPOILER ALERT! Immigration Partnership Newsletter

Be sure to check the upcoming Immigration Partnership Summer Newsletter to be posted in early July on the Immigration Partnership website at www.immigrationwaterlooregion.ca. Its focus is on World Refugee Day and services for refugees in our community. It also includes an interview with Eunice Valenzuela from Mennonite Coalition for Refugee Support.

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