McMaster students help sponsor refugee families

McMaster University students are working to help bring 20 Syrian refugee families to the Hamilton area, by working with other organizations in the community. Students who could not otherwise afford to sponsor a refugee now have the opportunity to make a difference.

Immigrants Working Centre Director Ines Rios and McMaster Students Union president Ehima Osazuwa have signed a memorandum of agreement, partnering to bring 20 Syrian refugee families to Hamilton.

“I think this has been driven on by the interest of students so I need to give credit to the students who have been very helpful to move this project along.” said Osazuwa.

Rios says many students who have come forward to help are sons and daughters of refugees who have previously sought safety in Canada. So far the student’s union has recruited 10 dedicated volunteers with a goal of 30. They’re also looking for 200 students to volunteer on a freelance basis.

“The next step is to do the training. The students will be trained to perform these tasks.” said Rios.

The union’s sponsored families are expected to start arriving in Hamilton within the first six months of 2016. Once they’re here the volunteers will provide support with resettlement needs.