Vancouver community group receives award for helping LGBTQ2+ refugees

Pride Flag
An LGBTQ2S Pride flag. File / Global Regina

A Vancouver-based community group that supports people seeking refugee protection in Canada is being recognized for its longstanding commitment to LGBTQ2 people.

Rainbow Refugee, Circle of Courage helps people seeking refugee protection due to persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or HIV status.

The Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC) will be honouring the group with the 2021 Ivor Carvalho Award at a gala dinner Thursday night.

This award is given to those working to change the immigration system for the better.

“Rainbow Refugee, Circle of Courage is a worthy recipient of this distinguished honour. The organization’s dedication to equality and its ongoing work with LGBTQ2 refugees, serves as an example of the very best of Canadian values,” CAPIC chair Avni Marfatia said in a release.

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The group has been working recently with an LGBTQ2 refugee from Uganda, Namuddu, whose name has been changed to protect her identity. She sought asylum in Canada and is living in Vancouver, working at a job to help women and children in the Downtown Eastside.

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However, she needs Rainbow Refugee, Circle of Courage, to help her support her four children who remain behind in Uganda. She had to leave them behind to protect her own life.

Our Circle has been helping Namuddu raise money to help her bring her children to Vancouver and live a new life with their mother.

“On behalf of Rainbow Refugee and the Circle of Courage, it is an immense privilege to receive this honour,” Circle of Courage representative Gerhard Maynard, said in a release.

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“Nobody should be forced to flee their home for being who they are or loving who they love.”

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