Toronto, 9 March, 2014: - Starting from a request in 2007 by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Canada's Prime Minister, today marks the first 100 days in Canada for the very first arrivals under the Tibetan Resettlement Project.
'Many of us have passed through these doors at Toronto's Pearson Airport with little more than a sigh of relief that we've cleared customs. But on November 29th, when they walked through these doors the first 17 stateless Tibetans to arrive under the resettlement project became new Canadians,' press release said on Sunday, just a day before the anniversary of the 10th March Tibetan National Uprising Day.
When Tenzin Tsangyang stepped off the plane in Ottawa later that day, he said the welcome was so warm that he didn't even feel the cold outside. And it was cold that day. Very cold,' he added.
'Since that day in November, more than 60 Tibetans from Arunachal Pradesh have passed through those doors at Pearson, some staying in Toronto and others who have connected on to flights that have taken them to their new homes in Ottawa, Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast. And wherever and whenever they've landed in Canada, there's always been a special welcome and sometimes a special guest or two,' it stated.
'As each Tibetan arrives in Canada, our resettlement partners across the country step forward to provide critical support, information and integration services to the new arrivals through workshops and one-on-one support,' it added.
It stated that the 'special thanks goes out to the Sponsorship Refugee Training Program, COSTI, the Office of Refugees Archdiocese of Toronto, the Catholic Immigration Centre, Ottawa, the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society, the Inter-cultural Association of Greater Victoria, the Tibetan Cultural Society of BC and MOSAIC in Vancouver.'
'Healthcare professionals are also stepping forward to offer their services, whether its back treatment or extensive dental care courtesy of Pure North S'energy Foundation in Calgary. and there's also been time for a little fun, Canadian-style,' it said.
'Now consider what we think is one of the most remarkable successes of the project to date: most of the Tibetans who have arrived since November are gainfully employed in their communities. And that's no small feat,' the Tibetan resettlement project stated.
The group said that 'the Tibetan resettlement effort is unique in that it receives no public funding from the government. Everything we've done so far is because of you, whether it those volunteering in their local community efforts or through their donations. And, as you can see, what we've done together is quite an achievement.'
"With the second round of Citizenship and Immigration interviews scheduled for later this month,' the group said, adding: Your support is needed more than ever. It's not just the gift, but the hope that it provides and the motivation that it provides us.'