Refugee Ministry

Refugee Ministry

"A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal"


October 1, 2017

Chair person, Ruth Cross, provided an update on our refugee programs at St. David's. 

The Yalda Family has reached the end of one year’s sponsorship. September rent was paid for. Legacy gift of $5000 for financial independence is available. Family is operating on a $3500 budget monthly. Refugee committee is helping with transportation, new lease agreement and advice. Ruth is an eager helper. Steady improvement in English language is noted. All though quite isolated socially, the Yalda's are delightful happy people.

Donna Fallons' update: Nine more Tibetan refugees (of the 400) arrived by September. There are 12 more to come. Only two of the 9 needed help with shopping. So much time has been contributed by volunteers thus far. Our help has been most appreciated. St. Thomas' volunteers have been amazing partners.  

March 28, 2017

Ruth Cross provided an update on the progress of the Yalda Family at the Council meeting: 

Because of the backup in security at immigration, only 2 of the incoming Tibetan refugees have arrived. The remaining 20+ will be here ASAP. 

For our Yalda family, dental care is underway with the generous care being offered almost at cost. Wisdom teeth removal, new dentures and cavities repaired for family members are underway. Both mom and dad are working on their English. Children are attending school. Mr. Yalda will be enrolled at Bow Valley in the LINC program in early May. Meanwhile, he is most willing to accept work. 

March 5, 2017

Ruth Cross, Chair of the Refugee Committee, discussed the progress made by the Yalda family.Since their arrival in early September, the Refugee Committee have been working with all six members of the family. Mrs. Yalda is in English classes while Mr. Abid Yalda is still on the waitlist. He speaks Arabic and Syrian. Pat Fryers is helping arrange for dental care and applications for dental benefits. Laura (Duker) is helping with language issues as is Ruby Ramish.  Children are all in school and seeming to do well. Mr. Abid Yalda is available for casual employment in electrical field while he is learning English. Check out the Newsletter for March 5 to see if we can find some gainful employment for Abed during the interim before language classes start in full. Transportation can be an issue with no vehicle but public transit seems to work.

Donna Fallon reports that the last group of 24 Tibetan refugees will be arriving in April. Six of the previous folks are working in Canmore.  

February 5, 2017

The Yalda family joined us in worship in January and each, in turn, introduced themselves and talked a little about their life thus far in Canada. This week's challenge has undoubtedly been the weather. 

Fundraising will need to be done in the near future. Refugee fund currently is $12,368. Dental care is an expensive venture. 

The Tibetans are doing well. $3361 is in the designated fund. Only 24 of the original goal of 400 folks have yet to come. Many of the single folk are currently working in Canmore. 

December 20, 2016

The Yalda Family is settling well. Three volunteers are helping with the teaching of English and Mr. and Mrs. Yalda are taking ESL lessons, 4 hours each week. Formal lessons will begin in January with LINC. (Long waiting list). Sally Hodges is helping Mr. Yalda with his resume - would welcome electrical jobs. The family is still waiting for its Child Benefit funding. The family is mourning the loss of the paternal father in Iraq. Meanwhile, nine new Tibetans have arrived, living at the Bina house, so grocery shopping sessions on Saturday are underway. 

November 10, 2016

TIBET PROJECT UPDATE                          
The Bina Transition Home has been quiet for several months now. There have been no new arrivals since April and our help with groceries and furnishings has not been needed since late May.
The good news is we started shopping again this week as the first 9 of the people still to come arrived November 3. The total number to come has decreased from 60 or so to 40 or so.

Thanks to individual donations and the Foundation, we expect to be able to provide groceries for the remaining newcomers as they settle in Calgary. The next arrivals will not be until January.

The Calgary Project rental of the McKnight Transition Home was finished at the end of September and the furnishings from there were spread among the Tibetans first, then Habitat and Value Village. The downtown Bina Transition Home that was acquired a year ago has room for 14 people. The caretaker there, Gelek, has been alone since late July when the two families still there moved to their own homes.

Tsering reports that the whole Project is going well; adults are working and the children are in school. This last year or so most have rented in the Westbrook and Killarney areas which is good for schooling and use of public transit and a close community.
With appreciation for all the support that St David's and Symons Valley provides to this Project,

Donna Fallon, St David's Refugee Committee

October 26, 2016

Abid Yalda, with the help of Sally Hodges, is working on his resume. Evidently, he is an accomplished technician. His family of six is settling in to Ranchlands. His eldest daughter is studying English four hours daily and, in turn, shares her new competency with her parents and three younger siblings. He and his wife will soon be able to teach all of us how to live well on limited funds as they demonstrate their drive to succeed. 

September, 2016

The Yalda family are here! They have moved into their home in Ranchlands and all four children have started school following three years where attending school was not an option. St. David's and St. Thomas' refugee committees have helped with their settlement. There are many ways for all of us to help out.  

Abid’s family of six spent three years in Lebanon awaiting their move to Canada. Many thanks to those who have contributed to their living costs while there. Continued support for their new life in Canada is most appreciated. 

Our former Iraqi refugee, Sultana, along with her family and a contingent of excited St. Davidians, welcomed Khalid, Sultana's husband, home to Calgary on Fathers' Day. Khalid has been separated from his family for over 20 years. The Hodges and Ruth Cross joined the family for a reunion meal. "He is so happy to be here!" 


October 26, 2016 There are only 60 - 70 to arrive of the original 400 Tibetan refugees who are calling Calgary home. The work of the refugee committee has certainly become less demanding as our new arrivals have gained their financial independence. The Saturday grocery shoppers have their  mornings off, the children are attending school and residences, primarily in Westbrook and Killarney areas, are furnished. Life is good. 





St David's is to be celebrated for its generosity in support of the Tibetan's here in Calgary! The SDUC FOUNDATION recently provided additional funding of $2000 to the Project. Some 60 Tibetans are expected to arrive in September, bringing the total to 400. $500-600 is used each month to support this program. We would like to continue doing this as our efforts are so much appreciated by the direct recipients and by Nima and the Calgary Tibetan Refugee Settlement Project. 

Remember, donations for this are tax deductible and assigned to the St David's Tibet Fund. Donations of furniture and household items have also been very much appreciated over the past two years. There will be more homes to furnish so donations of these items are also welcome. Contact:

Donna Fallon, 403 282 9799 or