Meal in the Kinbrace yard. Photo credit Mark Janousek

Extending the Table

May 6, 2015 by Loren Balisky

Food shared at Kinbrace brings diverse people together:  asylum seekers, Canadians, neighbours, former Kinbrace residents, young and old.

While there is much that alienates (language, history, fear, uncertainty), when food is prepared with care and with the intention of sharing, it becomes a powerful invitation to bring us beyond our differences toward trust and friendship.

When we prepare and share the food we know and love, our identities are somehow deeply and uniquely affirmed.
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Donald Cho, Vancity Branch 12 Account Manager, helps refugees secure loans to pay for their permanent residence applications.

Vancity accelerates refugee integration

May 2, 2015 by Loren Balisky

When refugee-serving agencies in Metro Vancouver discovered a significant barrier limiting refugee integration, they approached Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, for help. Vancity, with its commitment to building inclusive communities for everyone and helping people become “bankable,” is an active partner in the work of refugee integration and settlement. For example, they open accounts for government-assisted refugees and refugee claimants within the first weeks of arrival in Canada. Continue Reading →

UNHCR - I. Prickett

Welcoming Syrian Refugees

April 24, 2015 by Loren Balisky

There are over 4 million Syrian refugees (half of them children) outside their country, living in precarious situations.

The Canadian government is committed to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada. Religious groups, individuals, and others are rallying to bring Syrian refugees to Canada through the private sponsorship program.  Continue Reading →

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.

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 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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