How Private Sponsorship Programs Could Help Resettle Refugees

When Jennifer Nagel, associate chair of the philosophy department at the University of Toronto, saw the photo of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey, she felt compelled to do something. With a Facebook post, she brought together 15 friends and family to raise the $33,000 they needed to sponsor a Syrian widow and her five children, currently living in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Nagel and her friends will be responsible for supporting the family for a year, after which time they will be expected to be self-sufficient.

Canada began encouraging private sponsorship of refugees in 1979. Since then, volunteers there have helped resettle more than 225,000 people.

The current refugee crisis has spurred Canadians to action again. Last week, 164 Syrian refugees arrived in Canada as part of the new government’s commitment to accept 25,000 refugees by February. All 164 were privately sponsored, and the Canadian government aims to have up to 40 percent of incoming refugees privately sponsored by February.

Private groups will support the refugees upon their arrival in Canada, though the government will pay for their transportation, initial medical costs, and arrival expenses. Across the country, NGOs and government agencies have organized information fairs to bring together potential sponsors, educate people about the sponsorship process, and alleviate any apprehension they may feel.

Such sponsorship programs for refugees also exist in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Argentina. Ireland and Switzerland have experimented briefly with private sponsorship to reunite Syrian families, and the UK announced in October that it plans to develop a private sponsorship program.

With the exception of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, these programs only apply to Syrian refugees. In the United States, private refugee sponsorship has been used in the past for Cubans and Soviet Jews, but the current U.S. asylum system involves public–private partnership, in which NGOs partner with the government to resettle refugees.

Private sponsorship programs typically operate in parallel to government resettlement efforts and, in some cases, help expand the number of places available to refugees. A report just released by the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) shows how sponsorship of refugees by private individuals or groups can serve as a safe and orderly means for refugees to reach protection. The report is part of a joint project between MPI Europe and the Open Society Foundations called EU Asylum: Towards 2020, which aims to contribute to the reform of the Common European Asylum System.

The report notes that at a time when policymakers are seeking solutions to the ongoing refugee crisis, innovative programs such as these could help spread the costs among different actors, reducing burdens on state entities. They also allow individuals and communities to actively take part in solving the crisis.

As part of the program in Canada, Jennifer Nagel and her friends will help the Syrian family they are sponsoring with school enrollment, housing, job search, health care, and navigating life in Canada. The Canadian organization Lifeline Syria recommends that individual private sponsors form groups of five or more to distribute the hosting tasks and to raise the required funds to support the refugees during their first year in the country. Sponsors need to submit a plan that covers all the practical needs of the families when they arrive, and undergo a background check before they are matched with a refugee family in the Middle East awaiting resettlement.

Some programs also allow organizations, corporations, churches, and other entities to sponsor refugees for resettlement. Australia only allows sponsorship by an organization; individuals and communities wishing to support refugees must work through these entities.

Studies have shown that privately sponsored refugees tend to become self-supporting sooner than government-assisted refugees. While such programs are not without pitfalls—including concerns that governments could offload responsibility for resettlement—they could offer the European Union much-needed alternatives to the current refugee crisis. The MPI report encourages the European Commission, European Asylum Support Office, EU Member States, and NGOs to examine such programs. 

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Please tell me hope to help.

My husband live alone in Pakistan two if his brother r on canada. So we also want to go there .becoz I have three daughters.for there good future.thankyou so much for this help

I am interested in sponsorship, fundraising for sponsorship funds, and direct action.

Ironically, some of the alarmist propaganda about the 'refugee crisis' in the UK, and the shameful existence of the little supported camps around Calais, have made me feel I live in a hostile country where my soul and spirit do not belong. However, we need to work for positive change within the U K, and do not have to flee.

Let's hope the United States and U.S.citizens and organizations work together to provide the same benefits for refugees.

let me tell you people a bit about donald trump his real policies. Because most of you people are brainwashed by the communist ignorant ignoramus race baiting schmucks at MSNBC and TYT.. let me explain who trump really is. he donated millions and millions of dollars to lots of charities, world wide for decades. trump currently already employes 22.000 people. and tens of thousands more throughout the years. AND NOW POLICIES........... donald trump was lobbying against the iraq war. was against intervention in libya, egypt and syria. and he wants te repair relations with russia. trump said: the mexican GOVERNMENT is SENDING criminals and rapists over the border. he never said anything about mexicans in general. trump is not against immigration or mexicans. he is against ILLEGAL immigration. illegal immigration costs are a huge burden on the american society. billions and billions of dollars every year. Illegal immigration is very unfaire to legal immigrants. Illegal immigration is very damaging to our social systems. and trump still has to do whats best for AMERICANS. because our tax dollars suffer billions from the illegal immigration every year. and trump wants to build a wall because the los zetas and sinaloa cartel and lots of other criminal elements are smuggling and using the border for terrible things. Drugs, prostitution, transferring gang members, money laundering, sending hitman and assassins, . There are lots of cops and border patrol members on the US side of the border killed by them over the years, for just walking near the border. those criminals and gang members are scum! he is right about the criminals and rapists Crossing the border. BTW being mexican is a nationality also not a race. i also agree with trump his recent muslim ban. better safe than sorry.''president'' trump would be responsible for americas safety. and until they have a better way of finding the radicals, and effectively separating the radicals from the moderates. he is banning them all. and i think that's understandable and reasonable. because he doesn't want to risk even more radicals coming in, it sounds like logic and common sense to me... he is targeting non citizens. they are outside of the constitution. all american civilians would be more safe, and better off. ''president'' trump is doing what's best for americans, as the president should. it sucks for the refugees and non american muslims, i admit that. but its not the job of the president to be loyal to refugees and muslims who live outside america. america's interest and safety must always be priority number 1 for the president. in paris, in that terrorist attack. French muslims were also killed by radicals. under trump his ban… american muslims are also less likely to get shot by foreign non american radicals.. by eliminating tax loopholes trump would effectively raise the tax rate for the billionaires. His tax plan also doesn't include an income tax for anyone making less than $50k/year, which greatly increases the discretionary income of the majority of the country. This gives everyone more income and allows for more circulation of money therefore stimulating the economy, and by bringing back outsourced jobs (and not allowing people to outsource them to illegal labor inside the US) you greatly increase everyone's income. trump would bring trillions of dollars back from overseas, and negotiate better trade deals, and fix the trade deficits. he will stop companies from leaving america. trump has an IQ of 156. That means that Donald Trump is smarter than 99.9% of the people on the planet. he is smarter than hillary, bush, cruz, bernie, rubio. and all other candidates running, he knows wat he is doing

THE CHILDREN`S RECOVERY FOUNDATION 35b Main Motor Road Calaba Town. Freetown, Sierra Leone. West Africa 23288601102/ 23276694637, 23288810288 Email:[email protected] here at The Children`s Recovery Foundation Sierra Leone West Africa. Welcome to your organization (Across the Globe Children`s Foundation) to be part of our growing movement of unity to help empower the Orphan Children, Widows, Education, Agricultural project of the Nations of the world! However, as you may already know our country has been devastated by the Ebola outbreak. We are now trying to return to some normality but it is very difficult as we have so many orphans to look after and educate. We have established, The Children`s Recovery Foundation two years ago.  We have National offices here in Freetown Sierra Leone West Africa. “Our mission is to see that these Orphan Children get support and educated. Attention is given to growth and development of the whole Child, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. We have on-going ministry work here in Freetown Sierra Leone, and our focus is to wining souls for the Kingdom of God..  We know that peace will come when all of the nations of this world have Salvation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! We will be grateful if your Organization would be affiliating with us so that we can rapidly grow throughout the world with the message of “Salvation”, Helping Orphans, Widows and etc. Our Director, staff and volunteers here. Look forward to your affiliation, as we unite to Support these Orphan Children Sierra Leone West Africa and 

Being am refugee in south africa origin from East Africa Ethhiopia Oromo. I left my country before 3yrs still got a lot of humantrianin problems. Pl/se help me for 3rd coutry restalment.Thank you!

My name is Kalid I come from Ethiopia. now am living in Germany as a refugee, but I want to go to Canada by private sponsership. can you tell me what I have to do regarding this. Thanks!

I'm AMMAR
from syria
i am disable 
i am living in Qatar with my family 
i like to come to CANADA as refuge 
so i need your help to get sponsor 
i dont know from where i start
if you need any information about me i can provide you 
i am waiting your reply 
best regards 

Ok i have 1 wif and 5 children's.plz help me

Am refugee from DRC in uganda_East Africa! Am suffering from insecurity related to what i fled away from Congo! I have no any way to be ressettled from here to europe! May i get private sponsorship please!! My phone number is 256792898912

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