Key local refugee group changes name

East Kootenay Friends of Burma to become East Kootenay Friends of Refugees

  • Apr. 12, 2016 9:00 a.m.


The refugee-sponsor group EK Friends of Burma has been assisting refugees arrival and transition into the East Kootenay since 1995. Although they have primarily focused on refugees from Burma (Myanmar), the Friends have welcomed refugees of many different ethnicities.

The group is also transitioning into being an umbrella organization, assisting other groups in sponsoring refugees. from many nations. The time has come, says Shauna Jimenez of FoB to change the name to reflect that.

EK Friends of Burma will be known as EK Friends of Refugees as of April 23. That’s when the vote to change the name will be taken.

“Our AGM is Saturday, April 23 at 1 p.m. at Wasa Lake (6283 Wasa Park Drive), when we will vote to change our name to EKFriends of Refugees — to be more inclusive of all the refugees we sponsor,” Jimenez said.

EK Friends has been working with a number of refugee sponsors, including the group Kootenay Cares, who recently brought in a Syrian family and a group in Fernie, who will be bringing in a Liberian woman with a family of 10.

Interestingly, Jimenez met the woman four years ago when visiting a refugee camp in Ghana. She is excited to welcome her to Canada on April 22.

“There are four groups working in Cranbrook right now. One group, from the Baptist Church is bringing in a family of Chin people from Southern Burma,” she said. “They ended up fleeing to Malaysia. This is a family with two kids in wheelchairs. A group in Rossland is bringing in more Chin people and an Eritrean woman.”

There is also a group in Kimberley working on bringing in Syrian families.

Once a family arrives, the work doesn’t stop. Families need assistance with learning English, with adapting to a new society, kids need help with homework.

“We are looking for volunteers right now to help with families who are here right now,” Jimenz said. “Including August Paw’s family in Kimberley.”

Jimenez says that some of the groups waiting for refugees to arrive have been volunteering with Friends of Burma — a great way to get an idea of what the sponsored families may need when they arrive.

If you’d like to assist, contact Shauna at 250-422-3259. Anyone interested in working with refugees is more than welcome to attend the AGM on April 23 in Wasa.

Just Posted

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

The auto and the bike: A paean to them both

One becomes an extension of one’s self. The other offers the sensation of flight.

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Most Read