Syrian Refugee Crisis - Update On Our Three-Pronged Approach
A January 15, 2016 Update
Warm 2016 greetings to the PAOC family.
We have been working diligently over the last few months on a number of fronts to address the plight of refugees in the Middle East and Europe, and to facilitate the relocation of some of them to Canada. I would like to give you a detailed update of the three-pronged approach the PAOC has been taking with the participation of our local churches, ERDO, International Missions and Mission Canada. Please forward this communication to your leaders, churches, missions committees and interested individuals as we would like to express gratitude for all that has been done and to make you aware of ongoing opportunities. Your participation, prayer and financial support will help us continue our efforts as we respond to this critical need that affects so many.
Prong 1 – Response on the Frontlines
Thanks to support from churches and individuals, ERDO is meeting the needs of Syrian refugees. Please regularly check the ERDO website at http://www.erdo.ca/crisis-response-syria for more updates.
ERDO’s current projects include helping 1,400 Syrian refugees in Jordan with monthly emergency food parcels. This project is in partnership with the Assemblies of God Jordan, and is projected to continue into April 2016.
ERDO is also assisting 2,000 refugees with emergency food packages in Eastern Turkey through a PAOC global worker. Families with babies are receiving additional support.
In addition to these active projects, ERDO recently completed a project with another PAOC global worker in Turkey. This project provided a wood stove, blankets and other practical winter survival items to 500 people.
Between our completed and active projects, ERDO has reached over 3,900 individuals with your help.
We are currently preparing a new food relief project addressing needs inside Syria and Iraq that will benefit over 5,000 people. Details will be posted on our website when the project has commenced.
The Canadian Government will match donations for Syrian refugee assistance up until February 29th, 2016. Donations are still being accepted for ERDO’s work with refugees. Donate on our secure website at www.erdo.ca or call 1-800-779-7262.
A more detailed report can be found online.
Prong 2 – Hope for Syria - Relocating Students to a Better Life
A Global Ed update from Dr. Kirk Kauffeldt
“We met and interviewed Syrian students. Allow me to share my reflection from our first day:
In some ways it was the greatest day ever. In many ways it was one of the most difficult. Emotions varied from highs of excitement and anticipation to tear-filled lows of feeling the deep pain that the hellish war in Syria has unleashed. Today we met and interviewed Syrian students whose university studies have been interrupted because of war. We have begun a wonderful process of providing a solution for them starting with the establishment of a learning centre in Georgia to prepare these students for university studies in English and then help them to transition and continue their university career. We have started the journey of restoring hope for 500 of these wonderful students over the next three years. Lots of work is ahead but the motivation level is sky high as a result of the friendships we made today.
Together with the ongoing generous gifts of God’s people, we anticipate being able to launch in May 2016. One item to pray for is the need for volunteer EFL (English as Foreign Language) teachers. These volunteers in mission are asked to commit 10 months, to move to Tbilisi, Georgia, and pour into the lives of these hopeful young adults.”
- # of students: 150
- Relocation timeline: May 2016
For those that are still interested in supporting this campaign, visit Hope For Syria | or watch this video.
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Prong 3 – Churches Providing a New Life in Canada (Sponsorship)
Currently 34 churches have inquired regarding sponsorship. Twenty eight churches have been approved as PAOC Constituent Groups under the PAOC’s sponsorship agreement with the government. Nine churches have been assigned 18 families totaling 43 persons. These include:
- Five sponsoring churches in Ontario which are in the process of sponsoring 12 families totaling 25 people.
- Two sponsoring churches in BC which are in the process of sponsoring four families totaling 11 people.
- Two sponsoring churches in Alberta which are in the process of sponsoring two families totaling seven people.
One sponsoring church in BC is in the process of resettlement with a Syrian family of five who arrived in Canada recently.
Currently we have approximately 50 Syrian and Iraqi family applications in need of sponsorship.
In addition, the following churches have sponsored families who have recently arrived:
- A Saskatchewan church is in the process of resettlement with a family from Sudan
- An Ontario church is in the process of resettlement with a family who recently arrived from Malaysia
- Another Ontario church is in the process of resettlement with a family who recently arrived from Afghanistan
Become a PAOC Constituent Group: Contact Mission Canada at email@example.com to express your interest. Mission Canada will email you documentation to complete and return and will provide next steps for how to get involved in the sponsorship of a Syrian refugee individual or family.
Giving Opportunity: To provide financial support to assist in the sponsorship and resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by our local PAOC churches in Canada, donate online at https://paoc.org/donate/canada-refugee-sponsorhip-opportunities.
A final important note on CRA rules as they pertain to churches and charities
Churches or charities should be cautious about funding private groups, trust funds, or individuals that are not registered charities, since this could constitute private benevolence, which is not permitted for registered charities. CRA cautions on lending registration numbers to other organizations. This is often done when charities are being (mis-)used as a conduit for private benevolence.
Under no circumstances should a registered charity lend its registration number to another organization for receipting purposes. A registered charity is responsible for all tax receipts issued under its name and number and must account for the corresponding donations on its annual information return. A charity that lends its registration number risks losing its charitable registration. (See http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/chrts-gvng/chrts/prtng/)
Thank you for partnering with us.