Association for New Canadians Working to Create Welcoming Space for LGBTQ2S+ Refugees in Newfoundland

Written on 08/23/2021
Contributing Columnist

The Association for New Canadians is launching a new project to create a safe and embracing space for LGBTQ2S+ immigrants and refugees that move to Newfoundland and Labrador — CBC News reported.

Collaborating with the Rainbow Refugees Association of Nova Scotia, the association will put together Welcome Rainbow, which aims to train staff and host orientation sessions for immigrants when they arrive.

"Learning about the services and supports that are available, whether they are LGBTQ2S+ identifying or if they are family, friends or allies," Suzy Haghighi, the association's director of settlement services, told CBC News.

The program hopes to sponsor five LGBTQ2S+ immigrants to Newfoundland and Labrador, aiming to raise $20,000 for each person.

The group is also hoping to sponsor five LGBTQ2S+ immigrants into the province, with the goal of raising $20,000 per person. Fundraising is already underway, with local businesses stepping up to help.

"It would pay for their rent, food, all the basics of life," Haghighi said.

The United Nations will pick the immigrants sponsored by the program. They will be selected based on asylum claims filed based on persecution because of gender identity or expression.

After hearing about the pandemic's impact on the LGBTQ2S+ refugees, the Association wanted to help.

"They were specifically being targeted, and some of the pandemic rules and regulations were being used to further target and discriminate against them," said Haghighi.

"I'm really hoping … that they will come here and find a really welcoming community. What we're hoping is to really build together a welcoming, supportive space for them.

More information on the project can be found on the ANC-NL website.

(Image Credit: Andrew Waterman/The Telegram)