United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
From UNHCR "The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), also known as the UN Refugee Agency, is the world’s leading organization aiding and protecting people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. UNHCR provides shelter, food, water, medical care and other life-saving assistance to refugees around the world.
The dream of most refugees is to return home. When possible, UNHCR helps refugees make this dream a reality. When refugees can’t go back home, we work to find opportunities for them to rebuild their lives in another country." It is this second option, when refugees will never be able to return home that Canadians get involved to help.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) facilitates the arrival of immigrants, provides protection to refugees, and offers programming to help newcomers settle in Canada. The "Refugees selected for resettlement to Canada have often fled their homes because of unimaginable hardship and have, in many cases, been forced to live in refugee camps for many years. When they arrive in Canada, they basically pick up the pieces of their lives and start over again."
For a person or a family to be chosen for resettlement through the privately sponsored refugee (PSR) program, they must undergo a medical examination, a security check, and a Canadian official will review all documentation in an interview. When they arrive in Canada they are granted permanent resident status allowing them to work and go to school. Once in Canada, it is private sponsors who help the newcomers to Canada begin again.
Private sponsors across Canada help refugees who have been accepted for resettlement in Canada through the PSR program. Sponsors provide financial and emotional support for sponsored refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This help includes housing, clothing, food, and orientations to life in Canada. Most refugee sponsorships are for a year, but some refugees may be eligible for financial assistance from sponsors for up to three years. Even though each sponsorship has a finite time for financial support, the friendships made often last a lifetime.
Private sponsors take many forms, from small groups who do only one specific sponsorship to large agencies that have signed agreements with the Government of Canada. The latter, like AURA, is a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), an incorporated organization that has signed an agreement with the Government of Canada to resettle refugees. SAHs can sponsor refugees themselves or work with others in the community to sponsor refugees.
AURA is a Canadian charitable organization who provides support and expertise to constituent groups involved in refugee sponsorship and resettlement. We represent the Anglican Diocese of Toronto and support the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
You can make a difference in refugees lives right now, get Involved with AURA today!