In recognition of the one-year anniversary of the Afghan Special Initiative (ASI) and the first arrivals of Afghan refugees to BC on September 7th 2022, the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia (ISSofBC) has produced a special Government Assisted Refugees (GAR) bulletin, ‘Afghan arrivals to Metro Vancouver’, that provides detailed statistics on the Afghans that have been settled in the province since 2021.
Here are some of the key details from this bulletin:
“I saw many people arrive with only a backpack. They were talking to us about their families, homes, friends, jobs, and everything else they left behind. This took me back to the beginning of my journey in Canada – arriving with nothing but a suitcase.” – Abdul Fatah Samim – Settlement Worker, Settlement Program.”
ISSofBC staff were also instrumental in welcoming Afghan refugees to Canada and coordinating their ongoing support in BC.
“I have done a lot of work with refugees and newcomers… I have heard many heartbreaking stories of the hardships they encounter on their way to Canada. However, the experience of working … 24/7 with Afghan refugees in Toronto was a totally different one.” – Firouzeh Peyvandi – Assistant Manager, Settlement Program
As a result, many ISSofBC staff continue to reflect on their experience during the ASI, and the importance of ISSofBC’s broader work supporting refugees and other newcomers who have been settled and are building their futures in BC.
“Seeing the eagerness and courage of the newly arrived Afghans to adapt to their new home gave us frontline workers the strength to do more.” – Ahmed Fadhil – Case Manager, Resettlement Assistance Program