The Diocese of Central Newfoundland is an active participant in Gander Refugee Outreach with representation on the Gander Refugee Outreach (GRO) Committee.
The GRO Committee was formed in November 2015, in response to the crisis in Syria. Its goal was to bring seven Syrian families to our area (Gander/Lewisporte), and as many members of the Diocese and members of GRO will recall, we had originally suggested that we would sponsor five refugee families in Gander. Of course, St Martins Church and the Anglican Diocese have been key players from the beginning in this worthwhile initiative.
Four families have been settled in Gander and two families in Lewisporte. The Gander families are adapting well to the new culture and language. The men of all the families are working full time, as well as two of the wives. Eight of the children are attending school, while the other three children are pre-school age. One of the moms is expecting a child in June.
There has been tremendous support from the Community and from a dedicated committee and volunteers. Financial support came from fundraising events, and generous donations from many sources, including the Parishes of the Diocese of Central Newfoundland. Donations of furnishings, clothing, toys, and household items came in abundance.