Many of us have had the thought of sponsoring a Syrian refugee family on Cortes. I want to give you a summary of what that would take in hopes that those interested can begin a dialogue.
First, a quick background – Eva & Jamal have been working on ground level with Syrian refugees in Greece and Turkey since last fall. They have connected with 4 families who deeply desire asylum in Canada; family sizes range from 3 to a family of 8.
Currently these families are in Turkey where they are living and working in horrific conditions. If you want to learn more about this please email me at julialinnaygmail.com to receive Eva & Jamal’s update via email.So here is what it takes through the Group of Five Sponsorship
Form a group of 5 Members:
-More people and community can be involved but these are 5 people who are on the application and signing on for the undertaking officially.
-Requirements: all over 18 years of age, Canadian citizens or permanent residents, Reside on Cortes
-3 out of 5 members need to contribute financial resources as income support during the sponsorship year
Overall, the group is committed to supporting the refugee family financially & providing settlement support for 12 months from their time of arrival. Costs:
We need to look at the figures estimated by the government on the Estimated Sponsorship Cost Table & what we can deduct.
see both tables here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/guides/5413ETOC.asp#appa
Here is an example for the cost of a family of 5:
- 12 months of income support $ 22 500.
- Start up costs $ 7 200. (Start up costs are furniture, linens, food staples, clothing, deposits for utilities, etc)
- Total cost $ 29 700.
There are 2 ways this number is reduced:
1. The group of 5 (and its extended community) provide free shelter, food staples, clothing, furniture for the year. This would reduce about half of the total so would look more like $ 15 000.
2. Fundraising and individual donations Settlement Support – Details
We would need to:
- Give them access to services and agencies for Language training
- Services, agencies, programs to help them acquire skills necessary to gain employment in Canada
- Give them access to Immigrant Settlement Agencies – our closest is in Campbell River
- Must plan support or have service centers for persons dealing with trauma and/or crisis.
- Get them set up with social insurance cards, drivers licenses, IFH, etc.
- Enroll children in school
- Provide orientation to community
- Provide ongoing friendship and emotional support
- Help them become self sufficient Notes:
- There are no costs for Group of 5 applications.
- As of September 19th , 2015, the Canadian Government has temporarily exempt Syrians and Iraqis from the requirement to provide proof of refugee status in order to be sponsored by a Group of Five. Links to Sites:
Group of Fivehttp://www.rstp.ca/en/refugee-sponsorship/groups-of-five/
Refugee Fact Sheethttp://www.icavictoria.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ICA-Refugee-Fact-Sheet.pdf
Group of 5 Application http://www.rstp.ca/en/processing/the-refugee-sponsorship-application-forms/
Thank you for reading. Please let me know in email of your interests.
Happy day to you!