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Martha Koehn

Record Breaking Ride for Refuge

April 24, 2015 by Loren Balisky

Congratulations to everyone participating in this year’s Ride for Refuge, breaking previous years’ records, demonstrating a profound welcome for refugee claimants.

On the bright, sunny 3 October Saturday, 134 riders on 14 Kinbrace teams gathered midst 600 riders from other charities in Richmond, BC, rallying under the big green balloon, greeting each other, reaching for their complementary chocolates, and tying the telltale Kinbrace balloons to their helmets or bikes, getting ready for rides ranging from 10-50 kms. Continue Reading →

Seeking Safety

April 12, 2015 by Loren Balisky

Listen as Binyamin tells the story of his family’s arrival as refugee claimants in Canada.  This superb audio documentary “Lost and Found” provides a seldom-heard perspective through the experience of a teenager.  Kinbrace was the “first home” for Binyamin and his family.

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Erin Pearce (left), Wellness Counsellor, leads Kinbrace's new Wellness Counselling Program.

New! Wellness Counselling Program

March 27, 2015 by Loren Balisky

Refugee claimants arriving in Canada often struggle with viagracanadapharmacybest mental wellbeing, simply because they have and continue to encounter significant stressors and trauma.

Kinbrace recently launched its Wellness Counselling Program under the direction of Erin Pearce to support the mental wellbeing of Kinbrace residents. Erin has a Masters in Social Work focusing on refugee mental health and is our newest staff member working in the role of Wellness Counsellor.
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Kinbrace kids express happiness with a basketball hoop full of balls! Generosity begets gratitude.

Wide Generosity, Deep Gratitude

March 3, 2015 by Loren Balisky

Kinbrace supporters showed amazing generosity in the closing months of 2014, giving an unprecedented $83,000 ($40,000 more than last year) to support refugees through the Kinbrace mandate.

October’s Ride for Refuge fundraiser was a spinning success where 9 teams (84 riders), supported by 240 donors, raised $19,390, just short of our $20,000 goal. Thanks to each of you who so generously participated: team captains, riders, and donors. Continue Reading →

Andrew Kuipers

Gifted Volunteer Interpreters

December 25, 2014 by Loren Balisky

Interpreters have an invisible gift. When I met Mariano at the appreciation dinner for READY Tour volunteer interpreters, I was amazed to discover he speaks 8 languages – 3 verbal and 5 sign languages. I wouldn’t have guessed it just by looking at him. Mariano voluntarily gives 3 hours on Friday afternoons at the READY Tour program to interpret for newly arrived refugee claimants, helping them learn and understand how to prepare for their refugee hearings. A big thank-you to Mariano, and to the 30+ READY Tour volunteer interpreters: you share your gifts of time, skill, and good hearts to make refugee protection more accessible.

Kinbrace Summer Camp

December 20, 2014 by Emily Parsons-Dickau

Every summer the Kinbrace community enjoys a weekend of camping together. This year, with our largest group ever (70 people!), we piled into school buses and travelled out to Maple Ridge, BC for three days of sun and fun. Continue Reading →

RHP Guide Launched on World Refugee Day

December 20, 2014 by Loren Balisky

On World Refugee Day 20 June 2014 refugee claimants in Metro Vancouver and Toronto have a new resource available to help prepare for their refugee hearings.

Refugee Hearing Preparation:  A Guide for Refugee Claimants (RHP Guide) provides:

  • an overview of key legal issues
  • timelines to track refugee claims
  • strategies to prepare for the refugee hearing
  • a hearing preparation checklist
  • answers to FAQs
  • lists of legal and community resources
  • etc

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Partner Profile: World Vision Canada

December 19, 2014 by Loren Balisky

At Kinbrace we believe in partnership.  Working together helps us better achieve our purpose of providing the very best welcome and support for people in Canada’s refugee protection system.

Kinbrace is partnering with World Vision Canada’s Partners to End Child Poverty program, working to see refugee claimant families experience meaningful integration into systems and relationships in the Canadian community.  Launched in 2010, this 5-year Family Integration Project jumped into action assisting 8 of the Tamil refugee claimant families who arrived on the MV Sun Sea, and has since served families from around the world who are making Canada their new home.

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New Resource for Refugee Claimants

April 25, 2014 by Loren Balisky

Imagine swimming upstream through a medicine20.org dark maze. You only have a certain amount of time to reach the end successfully, and your life depends on it….

Seeking refugee protection in Canada can feel like going through a turbulent, watery maze. People who desperately need help face a system with tight time frames and complex procedures. This system, full of cultural and legal nuances, can be hard to understand and difficult to navigate. People seeking refugee protection often feel disoriented, and like they’re on the verge of drowning.

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Let's Go Beyond Vulnerable

April 3, 2014 by Loren Balisky

The knock came on our front door at 7:30 pm one Friday evening.  Opening it, I saw two men standing on the front porch:  one with a suitcase, whom I didn’t recognize; the other, an old friend.  Greeting me with a big hug, Muteba* reminded that he’d stood on this very porch in 1999, having just arrived from one of Africa’s most troubled countries.  Now, fourteen years later, he stood with a newcomer named Claude.

As we sat down in the living room Muteba interpreted for Claude.  Claude had just arrived in Canada, needing help and a place to sleep.

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