The West Kootenay Friends of Refugees (WKFoR) is a group of local citizens who are based out of Rossland, BC. The group has wide representation from the community and shares the common goal of sponsoring refugees to Canada. Sponsoring refugees to Canada is a new initiative for most members of the group so a big learning curve is taking place!

How the group was formed

The WKFoR was formed after  a presentation in the summer of 2011 by the East Kootenay Friends of Burma. The EKFoB have been sponsoring refugees from Burma and other countries to Canada for over twenty years. A few Rossland locals at the event decided they could gather enough volunteer and community support to sponsor refugee families and that the community of Rossland would be a perfect match for such an initiative.

WKFoR itself is not a registered society but is a constituent group under the East Kootenay Friends of Burma. The EKFoB act as mentors to WKFoR and also as the umbrella society to provide tax receipts for donations and other forms of support.

Fundraising Goal

In order to sponsor refugees to Canada, the group sponsoring the families needs to be able to support the refugees for one year or until they are self sufficient. We started with the goal of sponsoring two families to Canada with $30,000. We have managed to sponsor refugees under a government program that also helps financially. This will allow us to further our commitment and hopefully sponsor one additional family per year. Funds raised cover rent, utilities, clothing, food and day-to-day activities for one year. Fundraising is an ongoing effort.

Rossland BC

The City of Rossland is a small mountain town located approximately halfway between Vancouver and Calgary in the heart of the West Kootenays.  With a population of 3,557, no traffic lights or sprawling malls, the City of Rossland is really a small town steeped in the history of the Gold Mining days.

Rossland is famous for its active outdoor lifestyle, powder skiing and mountain biking. Red Mountain has produced some of Canada’s best Alpine ski racers and continues to attract outdoor enthusiasts from around the globe. The community is also home to Black Jack Cross Country club which has produced Olympians and national team members.

Most importantly, Rossland has a warm community vibe and true community spirit that attracts people to live here and invest in the future of their community. Volunteerism and community engagement  is strong in our dynamic community.

Online MEDIA articles are here.

Watch the 2012 video interview by Shaw TV!