The world is facing one of the largest refugee crises in history, with millions of people forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, or natural disasters. In the face of this humanitarian emergency, it is heartening to see communities coming together to offer a helping hand to those in need. One such effort is the Refugee Response Team – Thompson Okanagan Kootenays (RRT-TOK), which is working tirelessly to support refugees and help them settle in their new communities.
The RRT-TOK is made up of team members from settlement service organizations in the region and is dedicated to addressing settlement issues at the regional level. With the government of Canada’s commitment to bring 40,000 Afghan refugees to Canada as quickly and safely as possible, private sponsorship groups and settlement services agencies throughout the region are working to bring in and support Afghan families. In addition, with the onset of the war in Ukraine, the government of Canada has implemented the Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel, allowing displaced Ukrainians to travel to and work in Canada under a temporary visitor’s permit.
The Province of British Columbia has created the Refugee Readiness Fund (RRF) and the Refugee Response Team (RRT) Network through the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to support these efforts. These resources will help to ensure that refugees have access to the support they need to start their new lives in Canada. This includes assistance with settlement services, language training, employment services, and more.
The work of the RRT-TOK is critical to the success of the settlement of refugees in the Thompson Okanagan & Kootenay region. By bringing together organizations from across the community, they can offer a comprehensive response to the needs of refugees, helping them integrate into their new communities and start building their futures.
Visit kcr.ca/rrt or contact ac.rcknull@trr for more information.