CANADA’S REFUGEE SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM
THE PLIGHT OF REFUGEES
Across the globe, there are millions of men, women and children who flee their countries to seek survival. War, persecution and natural disasters are often the reasons forcing many to leave their loved ones, possessions and livelihood behind for safety and a meaningful existence elsewhere. This transition is usually a difficult road of alienation, uncertainty, hunger, lack of proper shelter and lack of education for children. Refugees are displaced from their home, livelihoods and all that is familiar to them. They find themselves living without purpose and dignity and many times subjected to exploitation and abuse by host nations. Your sponsorship is needed to make the transition easier for an individual or family who needs this protection.
These refugees are crying out to the international community for help. As God’s stewards on earth, we are called to show compassion to the vulnerable: young, old, widowed, fatherless, and other vulnerable groups who cannot help themselves. God loves the refugees and so should we. Deuteronomy 10:18-19 says: He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. Job, one of God’s faithful servants, in his own testimony said, ‘No stranger had to spend the night in the street, for my door was always open to the traveller (Job 31:32). As God’s faithful servant on earth, prayerfully consider how you can be a part of the solution to the current refugee crisis. These refugees are among ‘the least of these’, who Jesus says, when we serve, we are actually serving Him.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Private sponsorship of refugees
Qualified refugees depend on the assistance of designated referral organizations or private sponsorship groups, as they are not allowed to sponsor themselves to Canada. Through the Private Sponsorship Program, you, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, can sponsor refugees who qualify to seek settlement in Canada. A great feature of the program is that it allows Canadians to work in groups to sponsor a refugee. A group of five or more can come together and sponsor an individual or a refugee family to come and live in their area. They would pool resources together and help to support these refugees with settling and meeting their daily needs. As a sponsor, the group would support the refugees with food, clothing, housing, social and emotional support for twelve months or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient, whichever comes first. An alternative to the Groups of Five sponsorship route is to coordinate with an authorized organization that can connect you with a group. Authorized organizations that are able to process the application for individuals who want to sponsor a refugee are called Sponsorship Agreement Holders. A list can be found at this link by searching according to the Province/Territory:
Support organizations working to resettle refugees
You can donate to various organizations in the country which help to resettle refugees. A list of these organizations is located here:
To donate non-financial items, such as clothes, furniture and food, you can donate to organizations, such as Refugee 613 using this link:
PERSONAL AND COMMUNITY REWARD
There is a great blessing from Groups of Five within a neighbourhood, church, school or workplace, coming together and extending themselves to make a difference in the lives of those who are most in need. This act can build community togetherness and strengthen the morals and values of that community. Helping a refugee migrate to Canada can be a rewarding experience for the individual, as you will be making a tangible contribution to solve the immigration crisis facing the world. As sponsors, you are giving refugees a chance to escape devastation, have a new life and to find hope, purpose and meaning for their existence.
Useful Resources regarding refugee sponsorship to Canada
For further information on sponsoring refugees to Canada, please see the following links:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC): Sponsoring a Refugee:
Sponsorship Agreement Holders:
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program:
Canadian Council for Refugees: