June 20th marks the 16th World Refugee Day, an annual day when governments and citizens come together in support of those who are fleeing their homes with the hope of a better future.
“Every minute eight people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.”
– UN Statistics
In the Delta School District, we have a commitment to help those who come to Delta seeking a better life and education for themselves and/or their family.
As the 2015/2016 school year comes to an end, there are approximately forty K-12 and twenty adult refugee students attending Delta schools.
The District supports refugee students and families through a number of mechanisms beyond typical K-12 and adult education, including a number of direct language learning opportunities for K-12 and adult refugee students.
Refugee students in Elementary and Secondary schools are provided with English Language Learning supports and services if they are required.
Similarly, adult refugee students are able to access free English Language classes through Continuing Education. The Federal Government funds a significant portion of these adult classes as Language Instruction for Newcomers (LINC) classes.
“Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again. On this World Refugee Day, let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to refugees everywhere.”
Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations
Also, the District is able to offer a range of settlement services for refugees through the federally funded Settlement Worker In Schools (SWIS) program.
DeltaSWIS services focus on supporting families in settling into their new lives in Canada and navigating their new communities. Supports include undertaking “needs assessments” with each family, facilitating community connections and providing information and orientation services.
Delta School District SWIS Workers, Imtiaz Jamal, Della Li, Hemi Dhanoa
Follow #worldrefugeeday on Twitter
Lean more about refugees in Canada http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/canada.asp
Connect with the DeltaSWIS program: http://web.deltasd.bc.ca/admin/admin/admin/admin/content/programs/specialprograms/culturaldiversity/swis