Responding to COVID-19
Many of the COVID-19-related challenges faced by newcomers-to-Canada are similar to those of other people living here: isolation, financial difficulty, lack of access to technology and information, and more. However, these challenges are exacerbated by factors including language barriers, pre-existing trauma, and lack of community. We are working with newcomers to address these challenges, and we are also learning *from* them and and their incredible resilience. Many people with refugee experience have gone through lock-downs and great future and financial insecurity before, and they have much to teach us.
That said, being new means they also have fewer community resources to draw on to address changes to every-day-life presented by COVID-19, and that’s where you can help. Particularly we are looking for:
1. Leads on affordable housing in the lower mainland: preferably close to transit
2. Basic food and hygiene items: specifically flour, oil, salt, sugar, pasta, toothbrushes, toothpaste
3. Devices: specifically laptops or tablets (new or used). These will enable families to continue with their kids’ online schooling and with their own English classes
4. Adult bikes: many/most newcomers do not have cars, and with transit feeling somewhat unsafe/more risky, they, like many Vancouverites, are looking to bike more, both for exercise/pleasure and to get to work, grocery stores, etc.
5. Financial donations: all donations are greatly appreciated and you can give online by clicking the “Donations” button at the top of this page
If you are a newcomer-to-Canada or you are supporting newcomers-to-Canada, our friends at World Renew have put together a list of resources related to COVID-19, most of which are in multiple languages.