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Posted: January 11, 2016

Kimberley: a good place to be welcoming

The Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group (KRRG) will hold its first evening meeting on Tuesday, January 19, from 6:30-8 p.m., at the Kimberley Aquatic Centre meeting room.

It is open to all who want to be a part of welcoming refugee families to Kimberley, as well as anyone who simply wants to learn more about the group’s direction and progress.

Bringing two families to Kimberley will cost approximately $54,000, in cash and in-kind contributions. The Canadian government provides about $20,000 of that figure with KRRG responsible for $34,000. The group is learning from this first project as it plans for future opportunities. Already KRRG has in hand $4,300 in donations, according to treasurer Louise Hockley. The Fundraising Team coordinator, Lee Scott, is quick to point out this is before any concerted fundraising effort has been launched.

Cash donations are already being accepted at Kootenay Savings Credit Union; Kimberley & District Community Foundation (online at; and by mailing checks to ‘Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group’, 452 Forest Crowne Rise, Kimberley V1A 0A5.

In addition, a number of Kimberley corporate businesses have agreed to support KRRG, both financially and through in-kind donations. KRRG is encouraging residents and local businesses to find creative ways to respond to its question, “What can you do to help KRRG?”

From a standing start in late November, the group has passed several milestones, says the group’s chair, Peggy Frederiske. Teams worked through the holiday season and are already reporting encouraging progress toward bringing two refugee families to Kimberley.

KRRG’s core organizing group reconvened Thursday, January 7 (above photo), with reports from each of the three teams.

One focused on meeting the requirements for engaging in the refugee process; one on communicating KRRG’s activities to the larger community; and a third on raising funds.

The teams’ enthusiasm, focus and effectiveness are being reflected in the growing number of people expressing interest in the project, according to the group’s founder, Colin MacKenzie. It was his passion for humanitarian outreach, which set the project in motion.

The Communications Team reported on KRRG’s first outreach to the larger community, a successful presentation to the Kimberley Rotary Club’s first meeting of the year. Going forward, KRRG presentations can be booked by contacting Dave Hale (250/427-4300).

This team also welcomed Nicole Pfeifer and Brett Price of They are applying their technical and creative expertise to enhancing KRRG’s Facebook page and website, about to relaunch as Kimberley’s own “’Berley Times” (  is supporting both KRRG’s social media and website, producing video featuring group members along with Mayor Don McCormick describing their personal and professional motivation for getting involved.

Anyone interested in joining the core group is welcome to its next meeting at the Aquatic Centre’s meeting room, 10 a.m., Thursday, January 14.

The focus is on the work ahead for the Settlement Team (storage of items, housing, etc.) New members both to the core group and to the individual teams are cordially invited! The City of Kimberley is providing use of this space as part of its participation, along with posting information on the city’s website, among ‘Community’ activities.

A slideshow giving details of about the scope and goals of the group is available on YouTube


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