What is the RRT-FV?

The Refugee Response Team – Fraser Valley (RRT-FV) works with local communities to identify, prioritize and address the needs and challenges of refugees in the Fraser Valley.
Background

Recognizing the severity of the crisis in Syria, the Province of British Columbia set up a one-time investment to enhance federal and provincial refugee programs and provide additional resources for communities welcoming refugees. Refugee Response Teams (RRTs) were formed in five regions of the province, including the Fraser Valley.


Purpose
  • To develop and implement a Community Refugee Response Action Plan
  • To act as a local resource for information and communications about refugee resettlement in the Fraser Valley

NOTE: The RRT-FV does not provide direct services to refugees in the Fraser Valley. To find a service provider in your community, please visit our Communities pages.


Vision

Fraser Valley service providers, sponsors, stakeholders and refugees will have access to the information, services and supports they need in order to facilitate the resettlement of refugees and ensure their successful integration into the community.

Community Refugee Response Action Plan

In March 2016, RRT-FV members took part in a community consultation process to identify and prioritize the needs and challenges of refugees settling in the Fraser Valley.

The following six issues were prioritized for the action plan:

1. Data Collection and Information Sharing
Development of tools and mechanisms for ongoing data collection and information sharing on refugee arrivals and refugee-specific service needs and challenges in the Fraser Valley.

2. Public Education
Development of a coordinated approach to public education and messaging to address misinformation and build awareness of the needs and challenges impacting refugees in the Fraser Valley, as well as the services and supports available to support their settlement and integration.

3. Healthcare Access
Identification of healthcare access needs and challenges impacting refugees in the Fraser Valley. Development of information sheets and/or capacity building events to support RRT-FV stakeholders and refugee clients.

4. Housing
Identification of housing service needs and challenges impacting refugees in the Fraser Valley. Development of information sheets and/or capacity building events to support RRT-FV stakeholders and refugee clients.

5. Language Assessment and Training
Identification of language access and training needs, challenges and issues impacting refugees in the Fraser Valley. Development of information sheets and/or capacity building events to support RRT-FV stakeholders and refugee clients.

6. Employment and Labour Market Attachment
Identification of employment needs and challenges of refugees in the Fraser Valley, local refugee-specific employment and labour market services, and best practices to support their labour market entry and attachment. Facilitated discussions with employment stakeholders involved in the employment and labour market attachment of refugees in local communities.


Working Groups

The RRT-FV is supported by three Working Groups:

Healthcare Access Advisory Group

Provides input on healthcare access needs, challenges and issues impacting refugees in the Fraser Valley to Fraser Health Authority.

Co-Chairs:

  • Elaine Lowes, Fraser Health Authority
  • Tahzeen Kassam, DIVERSEcity Community RESources Society

Members:

  • Caroline Lai, School District #36 (Surrey)
  • Connie Hong, Options Community Services
  • Jenny Lam, SUCCESS
  • Kathy Riyazi, Fraser Health Authority
  • Rasmeet Channey, Fraser Health Authority

Housing Working Group

Identifies and prioritized housing service needs, challenges and issues impacting refugees in the Fraser Valley, and supports the development of RRT-FV resources.

Chair:

  • Jennifer York, ISSofBC

Members:

  • Kwenu Turkson, Mennonite Central Committee of BC
  • Laura Mannix, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
  • Ninu Kang, MOSAIC
  • Palwinder Kelay, Abbotsford Community Services

Language Working Group

Identifies and prioritizes language access and training needs, challenges and issues impacting refugees in the Fraser Valley, and supports the development of RRT-FV resources.

Chair:

  • Vasso Vahlas, Surrey Language Assessment Centre

Members:

  • Eva Touzard, Progressive Intercultural Community Services (PICS) Society
  • Ilhan Abdullahi, Pacific Community Resources Society
  • Janice Bexson, DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society
  • Jeffrey Graham, SUCCESS
  • Khim Tan, Options Community Services
  • Michelle Price, Chilliwack Community Services
  • Patrick Donahoe, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
  • Paula Mannington, Abbotsford Community Services
  • Yvonne Chard, School District #37 (Delta)
  • Yvonne Hopp, New Directions Vocational Testing and Counselling Services