At the end of 2012, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) reported that there are 15.4 million refugees worldwide. Refugees are people who are outside their home country because they have suffered or fear persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they are fleeing war. Imagine arriving in another country with nothing but the shirt on your back. Imagine starting your life over. For over 65 years, the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council has helped refugee newcomers feel welcome in their new home and integrate into Canadian society. The council, Manitoba’s largest refugee settlement agency, promotes and supports the protection and resettlement of refugees, and strives to enable their independence and full participation in the community. Refugee newcomers bring gifts to Manitoba: education, artistry, deep beliefs, values, experiences, and family bonds. They contribute to the strength of our community, our economy, and our diversity. Their courage and determination to rebuild their lives and pursue their ambitions are evident in their resilience and will to survive. The Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council’s Welcome Place Residence offers refugees a safe, temporary home and multilingual and culturally diverse staff offering a range of settlement and integration services in over 30 languages. Many refugee newcomers have overcome significant challenges to settle in Canada. The council offers hope at the end of their long journey. Our gifts for Mission and Service offer hope and support refugees adjusting to life in Canada. Please join me and continue to give generously and compassionately.
Mighty and tender God, through our gifts for Mission and Service we respond to your call to mend the world.