05 Apr 2020

Sonia on Sunday: Private Sponsorship of Refugees

A smiling woman
Sonia Krajewska

According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) there are 70.8 million forcibly displaced people worldwide and that number includes 25.9 million refugees.

A refugee is a displaced person who was forced to leave their home country and who cannot safely return. Most refugees escape their homeland and go to their neighbouring country in hope that they will be able to go back home when circumstances and situation changes. Unfortunately, in most cases they are stranded at the refugee camps where they wait for years hoping for a chance for a better and safer life. One of the ways to fix their situation is resettlement.

Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program is a Canadian refugee resettlement program.
Canada has a strong tradition of welcoming newcomers.

The PSR program doesn’t rely on public funding, but rather it depends on the resources from private sources such as: a Permanent Resident in Canada sponsoring his family member or a church group raises funds or use their personal income to provide the support to the sponsored individual.

Who can sponsor?

Community Sponsor – an organization, association or corporation who sponsors refugess to come to Canada.
Group of Five – five Canadian citizens or permanent residents get together to sponsor a refugee and his/her dependents to Canada.
Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) – incorporated organizations that have signed an agreement with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to resettle refugees from abroad through the PSR program. Association for New Canadians is a SAH.

Who is sponsored?

The most vulnerable refugees in the world which include survivors of violence and torture, women at risk, LGBTQ individuals and more.

Why sponsor?

There are various reasons why people decide to sponsor refugees via PSR program.
n some cases; it’s about family reunification. Sometimes people simply want to help others in need, to give them a chance for a new, safe life. The data shows that refugees positively impact their new communities. They may need support in the first months, but it’s important to note that their situation improves over time and they contribute similarly to other Canadians.

Are you interested in sponsoring a newcomer?
Reach out to our team! We can provide you with more information as well as assist with the application process.

Sonia Krajewska
Community Settlement & Integration Counselor

Read all Sonia’s blog posts here.