What is a Refugee? Lion’s Head Community to Welcome “Newcomers”


Submitted by Jeremy Thorn

Refugee families come from a wide variety of circumstances that led to them being designated by the United Nations as refugees. Some have been successful business people, some have been farmers and some have been accredited electricians, plumbers, doctors or engineers in their home country. Some have had to live in refugee camps in desperate situations, but others have managed to leave their country with a few of their resources and others have been able to find the odd job here and there.

What they all have in common is that they meet the United Nations definition of a refugee: “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”

The four children and six adults who make up the latest family to move into Lion’s Head were identified by the United Nations as refugees because they are unable to return home to Iraq due to documented fears of persecution. They have nowhere else to go, but Canada has agreed to accept them.

The family members coming here can speak English and/or French and have professional backgrounds. After refugees arrive safely in Canada, they are usually called “Newcomers”. We know you will welcome these newcomers to the Northern Bruce and get to know them as they learn about the Canadian winter and become integrated into the community.

Financial donations to assist the family with their settlement are still welcome. Please make cheques payable to the Lion’s Head United Church, re: Newcomer Settlement Fund. Please call Jeremy at (519) 377-5166 for more information.