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"The world needs Canada's help like never before. The world is facing its largest displacement crisis since the Second World War. Around the world, almost 60 million people, more than one and a half times the entire population of Canada, have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict or persecution."
- António Guterres
, UN High Commissioner for Refugees
In This Issue
AURA Quarterly Newsletter
Summer 2015 

Welcome to AURA's 2015 Fall newsletter.  We are very sorry that it is coming out so late, but we hope you can understand just how busy we have all been for the last few months. All of us at AURA thank you for your continued support of our mission of assisting some of the most needy refugees in the world. It is because of people like you that we are able to run life changing programs that allow for the sponsorship and resettlement of refugees.

Around AURA
AURA Refugee Crisis Forum:
On September 26, AURA held a forum for anyone looking for information about refugee sponsorship. We would like to once again thank the many refugee sponsoring groups, delegates from interested sponsoring groups and the general public who were attended were able to attend.
Now elected Federal Liberal Candidate in Don Valley West and long time AURA supporter Rob Oliphant opened the forum.  Rob outlined his history of supporting refugee sponsorship as a United Church Minister and his hopes of future increased support by all Canadians. A reminder for us all many come to Canada by choice, but refugees can only come thru compassion.

AURA's Executive Director, Ian McBride then lead the gathering through a  Q & A to answer a wide variety of questions and hope that interested parties would contact the AURA office to take the next steps in becoming part of the refugee sponsorship process. 

With the explosion of new and renewed interest in refugee sponsorship, AURA is scheduling future information sessions, training opportunities and other events very soon.  All our information sessions and training workshops are free, but we do need preregistration. You can find out more by clicking here to go to the workshop area of our website.

We look forward to seeing you at the next AURA event. 
Information Sheets:
At the Refugee Crisis Forum AURA released several information sheets:
Ian McBride speaking at St. Anne's Angl ican Church at the September 18th concert to support refugees.
AURA in the Community
During the third quarter of 2015 
AURA is very 
pleased to have 
been asked to speak or be part of  variety 
of events.  These occasions include: refugee education, refugee  sponsorship information, and outreach programs.  We would like to thank the following for inviting us to be part of their events and welcoming us to share our refugee work: All Saints King City, Trinity Aurora, Trinity United, Grace Church on-the-Hill, 

If you would like to request an AURA speaker for one of your events, please make the request using this form .
Student Program
AURA is pleased to be able to partner with local educational institutions to offer practical experience for student. This fall AURA welcomes: Evelyn Ignacio from Trios College's Business Administration program, Menna Badawi and Jess DeWit from Seneca at York's Social Service Work- Immigrants and Refugees program. All three students have brought  energy and knowledge to the office.  We look forward to working with them on a variety of projects over the coming months.
Refugee News
The Refugee Crisis: 
Syrian refugees arrived on the island of Lesbos, Greece.
 (Petros Giannakouris/Associated Press)

With the world seeing the most displaced people in history, now more than 60 million people, the repercussions of this mass displacement are being felt. Since January, more than 300,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe, primarily from the Middle East and Africa, a number that already surpasses the total numbers for all of 2014.

Of these people, more than 2,500 who have attempted to make the journey  across the Mediterranean Sea, have died and another  200 are missing an d feared dead. The bodies of  71 refugee were found in a truck abandoned by the roadside in Austria. There are countless other stories that never even make the news. This further highlights the risks people will take when they are forced from their homes because they facing violence and persecution.    

Now, perhaps more than anytime before, refugees around the world need our help and support.
The Response to Alan Kurdi's Death: 
Photographs of late brothers Aylan and Ghalib Kurdi and their mother displayed outside the home of their aunt Tima Kurdi, in Coquitlam, BC.

The refugee crisis in Syria has been ongoing since the outbreak of civil war in 2011.   According to the United Nations Refugee Agency  there are now more than 4 million Syrian refugees. 

In September, the photos of the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, found lifeless on a Turkish beach, made international headlines and galvanized international attention for the refugee crisis.   Their deaths have prompted many Canadians to ask how they can help refugees fleeing the war in Syria. 

Many Canadians have turned to refugee sponsorship as a way to help Syrian refugees. AURA offers many ways in which you can be part of the solution, there  are many ways for you to get directly involved today:
Canada's Refugee Plan: 
Canada's #WelcomeRefugees website.

The Government of Canada's plan to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees is  intended to provide rapid protection for vulnerable Syrian refugees while continuing to protect the health and safety of Canadians.  

The #WelcomeRefugees Plan  will be implemented in five phases:

Phase 1Identifying Syrian refugees to come to Canada
Canada will work with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to identify people in Jordan and Lebanon, where they have an extensive list of registered refugees.

Phase 2Processing Syrian refugees overseas
Interested refugees will be scheduled for processing in dedicated visa offices in Amman and Beirut.

Phase 3Transportation to Canada
Beginning in December, transportation via privately chartered aircraft, with military aircraft assisting if needed, will be organized to help bring refugees to Canada.

Phase 4Welcoming in Canada
Upon arrival in Canada, all refugees will be welcomed and processed by Border Services Officers for admission into Canada. This will include final verification of identity. 

All refugees will be screened for signs of illness when they arrive in Canada and treatment will be available if anyone is ill upon arrival.

Phase 5Settlement and community integration
Syrian refugees will be transported to communities across Canada, where they will begin to build a new life for themselves and their family. They will be provided with immediate, essential services and long-term settlement support to ensure their successful settlement and integration into Canadian society.

The Government of Canada has created a detailed plan and you can read more about it on their #WelcomeRefugees website
Constituent Group Spotlight
The Call to Help Refugees:
As the refugee crisis has grown and gained unprecedented attention both Archbishop Colin Johnson and Moderator Jordan Cantwell have spotlighted the need to get involved.  
Archbishop calls on Anglicans to 'step up' for refugees:

Archbishop Colin Johnson  calls on Anglicans to "step up" for refugees. The Archbishop wrote: " Some images sear themselves into your mind. You cannot unthink them. They change how you see the world." Canadians have rallied together in the past to respond to a global humanitarian crisis. We must do so again if we hope to stem the tide of suffering so many families are experiencing today.

There is still time for action by Canadians. I ask people in the Diocese to sponsor a family, if possible, or to contribute to a group that can; to advocate for better policies; to welcome the stranger in our midst; to pray for justice and peace.   
Moderator's Message: Syrian Refugee Crisis:

The Right Rev. Jordan Cantwell   message about the Syrian Refugee Crisis

" We are called at this particular moment in time to witness in a concrete way to our Christian faith in response to the needs of millions of desperate people seeking refuge and compassion. The plight of Syrian refugee children washing up on Mediterranean shores has struck at the core of Canadian self-perception as generous and welcoming people. As we have done in the past, we are responding once again with an outpouring of concern and compassion."

The call has been answered loud and clear, in the last month AURA has doubled the number of interested groups wanting to actively work on Private Sponsorship.

If you are already part of a refugee sponsoring group or are thinking about starting or joining a sponsoring group, AURA has created a "Sponsorship Ready" checklist.

In order to request a refugee case with AURA, a Refugee Sponsoring Group must be considered "Sponsorship Ready". Please refer to the following Sponsorship Ready checklist to see how far along your Refugee Sponsoring group is in the process. 

Social Media Highlights

Words of Wisdom:
Look for AURA's words of wisdom weekly by following #MondayMotivation or # WednesdayWisdom
Friday Facts: #FridayFacts have returned, look for them every Friday on many of our social media channels.
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To stay up to date with all of AURA's social media efforts, make sure you are following us on  Twitter,  Facebook and YouTube. Simply by connecting with
us on social media you can make a huge difference
by helping to spread our message.  

Volunteer Corner
Volunteering with AURA
AURA relies on the skills, time, and heart of our volunteers to support our mission
to help refugees.
Without the generous contributions by our volunteers, we would not be able to help as many refugees.

To learn more about volunteering at AURA, please  click here.