The administrators ofÂ a private fund to help sponsor 1,000 refugees to come to Canada this yearare encouraging people to organize in the next monthÂ to take advantage of the money.
About 80 people attended an information session at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Ottawa to learn more about what they would need to do to help people resettle in Canada.
Stephane TelkaÂ said a group of friends were talking about forming a sponsorship group and having access to financial support made a big difference.
“It was a game changer,” he said.
“I’m not sure if we would’ve had the time and the energy andÂ the resources to do the fundraising.”
The fund was created by the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, Jewish Family Services Ottawa, an anonymous Canadian donor and theÂ Shapiro Foundation, an American charity.
The refugees would be identified and screenedÂ by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and the moneyÂ will fully cover the financial commitment of sponsorship groups.Â
‘Why not help?’
However, sponsorship is a serious time commitment â€” nearly around the clock during the first few months, according to speakers at Thursday’s event, including finding housing, schooling and responding to variousÂ emergencies.
“They’re not just coming to volunteer a bit of their time to support a family,” said Kailee Brennan, outreach coordinator forÂ the hub.
“They’re going to welcome that family, they’re going to prepare their home with them together, they’re going to show them how to ride a bus, where to buy groceries, how to open a bank account,Â get a health card andÂ register for school.”
First published at http://yourlegalrights.on.ca/news/potential-refugee-sponsors-have-month-use-new-fund