What's happening in Milton?

KNOX-GRACE REFUGEE SPONSORSHIP TEAM – a partnership between Grace Anglican Church and Knox Presbyterian Church. You can reach this group through the email: graceknoxrefugees@gmail.com.

For more information: http://www.knoxmilton.com/home/refugee-sponsorship-team.

MILTON SAFARI (Service And Friendship Assisting Refugee Immigration) – a broadly based community of volunteers working together to bring hope and promise of future well-being to a Syrian refugee family. This group includes: Faith United Milton, Hillcrest United Church, Red Hill Church, Rotary Club of Milton, Members of local Muslim and Arab communities and independent community Individuals.

Contact: refugeesponsorship@gmail.com / Phone: Jean Lillie – 905 875 4443 or Irene Harrison – 905 878 5079

Mail donations to: Milton SAFARI, 420 Main St. E,  Suite 454, Milton, ON L9T 5K6  – charitable receipts will be issued


Milton SAFARI – BULLETIN #3 – May 31, 2016

Milton SAFARI wanted to let the family know that the group is waiting for them in Canada, and through an interpreter provided by Halton Multicultural they placed a phone call and spoke with the head of our family in Turkey. The family is very excited to be coming to Canada, just a bit concerned that the process is taking so long.

The family that Milton SAFARI will sponsor consists of the father, mother, one daughter and three sons. The oldest son is presently in Germany and is not part of our family sponsorship, so our family will be the parents, two sons and a daughter.  In speaking with them, it seems that the two youngest will want to attend high school here but are presently working in Adana Turkey. The father and older son are both anxious to be working in Canada. None of the family speak any English.  

The Milton SAFARI group intends to call again in a week and at that time will be encouraging them to learn at least basic English. When the family arrives Halton Multicultural will connect them with other Syrian families who are already in Milton.

It was an exciting moment to be able to speak to our family and they are most grateful for our sponsorship.

Milton SAFARI Bulletin #2 – February 17,  2016

SAFARI has received notice that we can expect to welcome a family of 5 to Milton from their refugee camp in Ankara, Turkey.  There are 2 teenagers, parents and another young man with the same family name.  We don’t know how he is related to the family.

We have submitted the government forms to the United Church which is our contact to the Refugee system and will now wait to hear of their arrival date.

In the meantime, there is work to do to prepare for the family.  Teams have been formed and leaders have volunteered to share the work.  The leaders will recruit members to help with the various tasks.
Teams are: 

  • Welcoming the family- airport; interpreters
  • Housing- assisting the family in searching for rental housing                            
  • Furnishing the home- furniture, linens, kitchen tools etc.
  • Consumables- stocking the pantry with basics; cleaning supplies; personal care items
  • Services and Utilities- health care, ESL, settlement services, telephone, banking, computer
  • Integration- Living in Milton- where to shop; how to ride the bus; finding places in town
  • Teen needs- contact with welcome centre for the schools; helping the teens.

This is just an outline.  The team leaders and their team will develop a plan for their section.  As you can see there is work to be done.  We need your help.  If you are interested in helping, please speak with a SAFARI rep at your church or Rotary club and we will put you in contact with the team leader.

The work needs to be done quickly as there is a push to accept 25,000 refugees to Canada by the end of February.

Remember the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”?  It will take a community to welcome a family coming from a troubled part of the world to our Canada.  Please think of volunteering with a team.

Milton SAFARI Bulletin #1 – January 13, 2016

This bulletin is to keep all of the interested groups up to date on Milton SAFARI’s journey to help a Syrian family settle in Milton.

Milton SAFARI is a strong committed community group of churches (Hillcrest United, Faith United, Redhill Community Church),  the Muslim community,  the Rotary Club, and a number of individuals.  We hope to have monthly meetings and have formed a steering committee to work between meetings.

What has been accomplished?

·       Fundraising: we are well on our way to our goal with $25000 known funds.  We are thankful for the strong response from the whole community. There is still room for creative folks to help us get to our goal of $30,000.  According to Government guidelines, we have enough money to sponsor a family but we need to be prepared to help the family deal with the high cost (and scarcity) of rental housing in Milton.

·      Research:  First we learned about how the immigration process works. This led  us to the BVOR (Blended Visa Office Referred) process. The costs of settlement are shared between the government and our community. 

·      Registration: we have registered Milton SAFARI as ready for a family and are waiting for a family to be referred to us.  We understand that the process is slow as there are many communities also preparing to help families.

What are the next steps?

·      Housing: The committee has been keeping track of potential rental units which would be affordable and available for a family. Second: they are looking for temporary housing for the first month or two.  When the family comes to Milton they will be in temporary housing and then they will be helped to find permanent housing.

·      Settlement Services:  We have been learning what is available to help families such as healthcare services, English as a Second Language, Job seeking skills, and what the schools do to assist children.

·      Logistics:  There will be a need for household furnishings and clothing donations. An inventory list has been created and we will collect names of people who have items on the list.  We do not have storage so hope that people will keep things until the family has a home to move to. 


In the meantime there is work to do as we wait for a family…..

Resource documents to download

Following an information meeting to discuss the role of Milton's Christian churches in sponsoring refugees, the following links and resources have been gathered and made available for download.

Settlement Preparation.pdf

Managing Expectations.pdf


Financial guidelines sponsorship.pdf