"I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks" ~ William Shakespeare
Many tasks need to be taken on and accomplished, both before our new Canadian family arrives and after they are here. We are agreeing to support the family for up to a year. In our list below, many tasks will need both a coordinator and additional help from volunteers. To sign on for one of these tasks please contact us!
Before Arrival of Family...
Translators (Identify volunteers to help with initial settlement, regular organization of translators to assist with paper work, registration with appropriate public agencies, health authorities, schools etc (VIRCS and ICA).
General liaison with the Victoria Inter-Cultural Association (ICA).
Securing accommodation rental.
Utilities' hook up (electricity, gas, oil, water, telephone(s), internet, TV).
Meeting family at airport (including translator).
Furnishings and appliances (finding, delivering; includes bedding, vacuum cleaner, toaster, radio, TV, kitchen cookware, utensils, cutlery, etc).
Clothing (cold/warm weather, introducing family to reasonable priced clothing stores).
Education (school board needs to be apprised of pending arrival of the family. Ask them about services provided for recent refugee children who do not speak English). School supplies.
After Arrival of Family...
Social support (especially during the early arrival stage; actively supporting the family in getting settled, responding to immediate needs and providing social support . The coordinator provides frequent liaison with the family on an on-going basis).
School registration and introduction (introduction to school, its location and how to get there, school hours, routines, principal, teachers, books and other school supplies).
Food and essentials ( supply for initial few days, guidance in shopping for food, ethnic sources, bulk purchases provide household cleaning products, toiletry and personal hygiene products).
Discretionary pocket money (add to the monthly family budget to cover recreation, pocket money, etc).
Bus passes (supplied by the city; where to pick up, introduction to the bus system and how to use it).
Banking (arrangements with bank or credit union, and introduction to how these institutions work).
Car transport (driving family to appointments, interviews, etc. as needed).
Registration with federal, provincial and city governments (ICA can assist with getting permanent identity cards, SIN cards, interim Federal Health benefits, child tax and GST tax credits –within one week of arrival).
Health care registration and problems (registration with BC Health Care Plan – BC pays medical expenses from day of arrival, but it may take 3 months before cards arrived – Fair Pharma Care plan etc. ICA can help).
Mental health liaison.
Selection of physician and dentist as soon as possible. Some dentists may provide service gratis or at reduced rate.
English language ability assessment and training (adults can get help from ICA for language and needs assessment and enrollment in English classes. Camosun, SJ Willis and U Vic also have language classes).
Employment and training (contact Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society (VIRCS) or ICA for enrolment in job search programs and government employment services. Upgrading skills through training programs).
Community contact and cultural awareness (contact with ethnic, cultural or religious communities, making friends, seeking advice on cross-cultural issues. ICA and VIRCS, translating (ICA).
Human rights, protections and responsibilities ( ICA or VIRCS).