Joselyne John 0

Urgent resettlement to Canada of a refugee family, now facing death in South Africa.

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This video of a xenophobic mob burning people alive outside the barricaded door of the refugee family - survivors of the Burundian genocide - that we have been trying to bring to Canada for four years is shocking and painful to watch. See

Almost as shocking is the fact that the bureaucracy has delayed processing their visa for four years, once even offering as an excuse, after a year, that the application had been lost. It was subsequently found. The only way that the John family's daughter Joselyne (now a Canadian citizen and a nurse) was able to get acknowledgment that it has been received, was through the kind intervention of her then MP.

After the new government exceeded its commendable target of bringing 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada in only a few months, demonstrating conclusively that refugee visa applications don't require years to process, Joselyne emailed a plea to Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, (see attachment, below) but this has not yet been acknowledged. He recently announced that he will substantially increase non-Syrian refugee numbers so this is an opportune time to beg him to rush a visa to Joselyne's parents and brothers who have been waiting, fearing for their lives, for almost four years.

Could you, therefore, as my Minister, to expedite this Visa application (File: G000061108) to bring this innocent family here to prevent members from being horribly murdered by a xenophobic mob? Employment and permanent housing was arranged four years ago.


Honourable John McCallum P.C., M.P.

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

via email

Honourable Sir;

Re: Urgent resettlement to Canada of my refugee family, survivors of genocide in Burundi, now facing death in South Africa

Now that you have admirably reached your commendable target of rescuing 25,000 desperate Syrian refugees and demonstrated to naysayers that it is possible to process visas quickly, I implore you to now rescue my refugee parents and younger brothers who are facing death in South Africa while awaiting their Canadian visa, applied for in 2012 June 22 to reunify our family (Primary applicants Ntahizaniye John and Helen Macumi, File: G000061108). Community Sponsorship was applied for in 2010 and not approved by CIC until June 8th, 2012. Housing and employment for them here were arranged in 2010.

I was unable to even get confirmation from the Pretoria Visa Office that their visa application had been received until Andrew Saxton, my former MP in North Vancouver intervened, discovering that the Pretoria office had lost their 100-page application and wanted it to be submitted again. This was easy to say, but was almost impossible while fleeing persecution. After the agony of resubmission, the Pretoria Office found the original application. My family was assured that they would be interviewed in 2015 April, but it still hasn’t happened despite their lives being threatened by xenophobic mobs.

Because of my Hutu father’s conscientious objection to murdering innocent Tutsi neighbours during the 1993 genocide of minority Tutsis by the Hutu majority, our family members are considered to be traitors by the Hutu-dominated government. Returning to Burundi would therefore constitute a death sentence. Furthermore, because our family is Hutu, we are also considered to be enemies by the Tutsis. My family was targeted by both Hutu & Tutsi thugs in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi.

While waiting for Canadian Immigration to process their visas, after their neighbour was murdered, my family fled to Durban, South Africa last April to live with my elder brother who is a practicing medical doctor. Then xenophobic violence and killing broke out as shown in the horrific video which my brother took while barricaded inside his house

After I graduated with honors from Nazarene Secondary School in Malawi in 2005, World University Service of Canada (WUSC) awarded me a scholarship to study at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Burnaby, BC. I arrived 2007 August 15th. While studying there, I initiated the volunteer Dzaleka Project to raise money for bringing my family and other refugees to Canada. We raised about $22,000, sufficient; along with the in-kind donations we raised, to accommodate my family’s immediate needs when they arrive in Canada. In 2012, I was honoured to receive a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and in 2013, Canadian Citizenship. This year, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. In addition to serving the public as a Nurse, I have been commended for leadership and volunteerism by organizations including Burnaby Hospital, SFU and the Canadian Nurses Foundation. My younger brother Shadrack is now studying at SFU on a WUSC scholarship.

My family deserves a chance for a safe home not only because their lives are in danger but also because they will be productive citizens like I have been. Can you please therefore expedite their visa? A detailed chronology of their plight is attached.


Joselyne John B.A., B.Sc.N.

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