Information sessions on hosting Syrian refugees slated for Jan. 11 and 12

For PEI’s Acadian and Francophone community

soiree info refugies syriens lowresABRAM-VILLAGE – Jan. 4, 2016 – Knowing that hundreds of Syrian refugees will soon be settling on the Island, PEI’s Acadian and francophone community wants to know what it can do to help greet and integrate these newcomers into society. Some groups and families are even interested in sponsoring one or more of these refugee families.

Several organizations from the Island’s French-speaking community, including the Coopérative d’intégration francophone (CIF), RDÉE Prince Edward Island and the Centre d’éducation chrétienne, have therefore joined forces to host two public information sessions specifically on this topic. The issue will be looked at from economic, social and Christian perspectives.

The first session will be held Monday, Jan. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the theatre at the Carrefour de l’Isle-Saint-Jean in Charlottetown. The second session will be held Tuesday, Jan. 12, at 6:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Centre scolaire-communautaire Évangéline in Abram-Village. Snacks will be served.

Both sessions will begin with an overview of the situation in Syria, explaining why so many people are seeking refuge in Canada.

Next, CIF executive director Jacinthe Lemire and two immigrants who’ve been living on PEI for many years – Dottie Daly (a former American who is now one of the CIF’s coordinators) and Zain Esseghaïer (member of the PEI Muslim Society who is originally from Tunisia) – will speak about the importance of welcoming and integrating refugees. They’ll then discuss myths versus truths about refugees.

Esseghaïer and Susan Nye-Brothers from the Diocese of Charlottetown will then explain the process than must be undertaken to sponsor a family of refugees. Organizers will next host a panel discussion on sponsorship as well as hosting and integrating refugees; featured on the panel will be people who have already gone through the process, either as a refugee or as a sponsoring group.

The evening will conclude with a question period. Most of the presentations will be given in French; a few people will share their perspective in English.

Among the other partners of the information sessions are the Wellington Rural Action Centre, the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI and the Diocese of Charlottetown.



CUTLINE: Debbie Rousselle-Montgomery, left, from the Centre d’éducation chrétienne, Raymond J. Arsenault from RDÉE PEI and the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce and Velma Robichaud from the Wellington Rural Action Cenetre are discussing details of the information sessions on welcoming Syrian refugees, planned for Jan. 11 and 12.


For more information:
Jacinthe Lemire
Executive director
Coopérative d’intégration francophone de l’Î.-P.-É.
(902) 388-1472