Esquimalt Refugee Family Sponsorship Group

It’s a go!

On Wednesday evening of December 9, the sanctuary of Esquimalt United Church was filled with 80 people, all of them interested in welcoming a refugee family to our community. Sabine Lehr from ICA (the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria) was the key speaker, laying out the enormous need for refugee resettlement, the Canadian response, and just how we, in the community of Esquimalt, can become involved.

Participants completed forms indicating how they could help with skills, time, and money. The next day our small group of organizers got together to count up cheques, pledges, and promises of help. In a nutshell, there are plenty of people committed to helping in lots of ways. And there’s enough money that we feel we can definitely go forward – pledges and donations adding up to almost $20,000. But we’re going to need more money to be able to apply for a family.

We’re feeling very hopeful. Esquimalt Municipal Council, at their December 7 meeting, gave the project official endorsement, and is considering a community grant. We’ve made contact with other communities, including the Jamatkhana mosque in Esquimalt, and hope that they will be involved in the leadership of the project. But the main fundraising thrust will come for people in the community who will reach into their pockets, and also reach out to family and friends with an invitation to donate. The funds will all be collected by ICA, our sponsoring agency, and all donations over $10 will receive a tax receipt.

We’ll soon have a website up and running, and be able to update the Esquimalt community week by week on where we’re at.

We’re excited to be able to welcome and support a refugee family in Esquimalt in 2016. To learn more about how you can help, contact

To donate:

By Cheque:
Make cheques payable to ICA of Greater Victoria. On the subject line write:
CG016-15 (Esquimalt Refugee Family). Send cheques to
ICA of Greater Victoria,
930 Balmoral Rd, Victoria, BC V8T 1A8
Attention: Sabine Lehr

Go to the ICA website (, click on the DONATE NOW button, and choose “Refugee Sponsorship Fund” from the dropdown menu. Then write CG016-15 (Esquimalt Refugee Family) in the message box. (Note: By clicking ‘Monthly’ you can give an automatic monthly donation.)

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