The Sponsoring Process
Better Together is undertaking sponsorships through the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program (BVOR). This process is mediated by a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), and in our case, our SAH is the Justice and Compassion Department of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. Each sponsored family requires a minimum of five local community members to commit to a one-year sponsorship agreement and develop a settlement plan. We refer to these smaller groups within the project as our “core teams”.
We are currently developing 7 core teams, with 5-8 people per team. Each team will be responsible for one family. The teams are meeting together regularly to develop detailed settlement plans in preparation for the families arriving in the area as soon as we meet our fundraising goal.
A settlement plan details considerations for a refugee family newly arriving in Canada, including:
- picking up the family from the airport
- providing accommodations, including furnishings, clothing, and food
- providing a budget and helping a family understand and work within it
- acclimatising the family to life in Northumberland (shopping, transportation, recreation, etc.)
- applying for health card, SIN card, Canada Child Benefits, etc.
- setting them up with health care, including trauma support if necessary
- school registration, including ESL
- job search support
- providing emotional support and other logistical settlement assistance
We also meet monthly as a large group to track the progress of our teams in developing their settlement plans, and to provide resources and training in areas such as managing expectations in the sponsorship, both for our group and for the families.
We are grateful for the support we receive from our Sponsorship Agreement Holder, the New Canadians Center, and other sponsoring groups that have gone before us to help guide our preparations so we can be as prepared as possible when the families arrive.
For more information, please connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.