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Refugee Crisis – How can you help?

A few weeks ago, an image of a boy who drowned trying to flee the war in Syria stunned the world, and focused attention on a refugee crisis that has displaced millions of individuals. Many individuals prompted their governments to do more in order to tackle this crisis, and many have been moved to help on their own.

Individuals can donate to an international aid organization or even a refugee assistance agency in Canada. However, if they are looking for a much more significant commitment, Canadians can sponsor a refugee.

Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program helps many refugees every year. This program allows individuals to sponsor a refugee from abroad who qualifies to come to Canada. Sponsors must agree to provide emotional and financial support to the refugee for the full sponsorship period, which is usually one year.

There are several options when it comes to refugee sponsorship, including sponsorship agreement holders and groups of five.

Sponsorship agreement holders (SAH): A number of religious, community or service organizations have signed agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees when they resettle in Canada. SAH can sponsor a specific refugee or refugee family, however, these refugees must qualify under Canada’s refugee and humanitarian resettlement program.

Groups of five (G5): Under this group, 5 or more Canadian citizens or permanent resident, over the age of 18, can form a group to sponsor an individual recognized as a refugee by the UNHCR or by a foreign state. The group must commit to supporting the sponsored refugee financially and emotionally for the duration of the sponsorship period, which is usually one year, or until the sponsored refugee has become self-sufficient – whichever comes first.

Whether you are an individual or an organization looking to sponsor a refugee, contact our office today.


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