Photo: Visha Thamboo

“I’m deeply grateful….”

April 15, 2016 by steve

Volunteers bring skill, creativity, and freshness to the welcome of refugee claimants.  And they leave inspired and enriched.

What a delight to have Anna Kvasnikova at Kinbrace!

From February to April, Anna volunteered two days a week through the University of British Columbia’s Arts Internship Program. Continue Reading →

Mark Janousek

Life-vest, anyone?

April 8, 2016 by Loren Balisky

“My people buy these for a very expensive price, and still they drown,” Azad* tells me as he fits into an orange life-vest, looking out over the quiet south bay of Anvil Island, BC.

The image of orange life-vests is synonymous with the current refugee crisis, a symbol of the tens of thousands of asylum seekers taking risky boat passage from north Africa and the Middle East toward Europe.  I’ve personally been gutted by the images of children, men, and women landing on the European coastline, faces tight with fear, the surf pounding around them.  It’s sheer survival. Continue Reading →

Burnaby youth present present their $6285 cheque to Kinbrace!

Burnaby Students Have More Than Talent….

December 2, 2015 by Loren Balisky

Burnaby youth have more than talent: they’ve got huge hearts for global concerns and hardworking hands to bring change locally.

Kinbrace was selected by the Burnaby District Student Advisory Council (DSAC) (student leaders from the eight Burnaby high schools) as the charity to support through their amazing annual Burnaby’s Got Talent event held on 08 April 2015.
Continue Reading →

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.
Continue Reading →

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.
Continue Reading →