The Refugee Hub https://refugeehub.ca Tue, 30 Jul 2019 14:12:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 https://refugeehub.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/cropped-rh2-32x32.png The Refugee Hub https://refugeehub.ca 32 32 BVOR Sponsorship Stories: Immigration professionals walk the talk by sponsoring for the first time https://refugeehub.ca/bvor-sponsorship-stories-immigration-professionals-walk-the-talk-by-sponsoring-for-the-first-time/ Tue, 30 Jul 2019 13:46:03 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1611 Tara Templin is part of Ottawa’s ‘Sponsorship Squad’, a group of friends who are all involved professionally in the immigration sector. Find out more about how you can be part of the 2019 BVOR Fund. Our group is called the Sponsorship Squad and we are all friends of friends of friends. It was the first…

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Tara Templin is part of Ottawa’s ‘Sponsorship Squad’, a group of friends who are all involved professionally in the immigration sector. Find out more about how you can be part of the 2019 BVOR Fund.

Our group is called the Sponsorship Squad and we are all friends of friends of friends. It was the first time sponsoring for most of our group members, but almost all of us are professionally involved in immigrant settlement already. For many of us, sponsoring was a natural evolution of our personal and professional interests, and a way to directly experience and create a welcoming community. This was our opportunity to walk the talk, open our arms and help create a home and life with a newcomer to Canada. Sponsoring has been a great way to get to know each other and deepen our professional relationships into personal ones. 

We sponsored a lovely young couple and their toddler who fled a life-threatening situation in their home country of Colombia. This dynamic couple are settling in well, learning the language, making friends with their neighbours and discovering the cold, but super fun and dynamic community of Ottawa.  

The family is adapting incredibly fast to life in Canada. It is hard to believe that after only six months in Canada, the father has advanced to level three in his English class and just started a short-term contract constructing swimming pools. He says he is super excited to have the Canadian work experience, and the group is incredibly proud that he has so bravely joined the job market, while simultaneously learning everything about life in Canada. He now listens and speaks English all day on the job and continues his English studies in the evening with his partner. While mom is in English class, their little boy is enjoying his daycare, and is usually having so much fun, he doesn’t want to leave at the end of the day.

We have held several birthday parties at this point in our sponsorship and we typically all gather at the family’s small apartment and have a potluck meal, with cake of course! These little house parties have been an excellent way to connect with the family, bring all of our children together, share food and recipes, and basically, connect. During one of these parties, my husband and children were playing on the floor with a toy drum and guitar. The sponsored family’s toddler came right over and sat between them and played right along. It was a simple moment, but there was a feeling of comfort and happiness in being together. We are friends and our children are friends. Is there any greater joy?

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Workplace Sponsorship in Canada – A Workshop https://refugeehub.ca/workplace-sponsorship-in-canada-a-workshop/ Sat, 27 Jul 2019 19:07:58 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1634 The post Workplace Sponsorship in Canada – A Workshop appeared first on The Refugee Hub.

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BVOR Sponsorship Stories: Ottawa’s ‘Team Sponsor Wow’ https://refugeehub.ca/bvor-sponsorship-stories-ottawas-team-sponsor-wow/ Wed, 03 Jul 2019 13:36:21 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1600 Amy Bartlett is part of ‘Team Sponsor Wow’, a mixed group of 15 friends, friends of friends and strangers in Ottawa who all sponsored for the first time. Find out more about how you can be part of the 2019 BVOR Fund. Our sponsored refugees arrived in November 2018: a resilient, patient, wonderfully fun-loving widowed…

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Amy Bartlett is part of ‘Team Sponsor Wow’, a mixed group of 15 friends, friends of friends and strangers in Ottawa who all sponsored for the first time. Find out more about how you can be part of the 2019 BVOR Fund.

Our sponsored refugees arrived in November 2018: a resilient, patient, wonderfully fun-loving widowed mother and her three incredible children (aged 10, 14 and 15). Like many other refugee families, they have gone through huge trauma while also facing the deep uncertainty, worry and stress of leaving their home, language, culture and people to come half way around the world. And yet I also watch them embracing their new situation with so much patience, curiosity and grit.

We have already hit some big milestones in 2019, including getting the kids in school and the mother starting English lessons – getting into the daily rhythms of their new life in Canada. Not to mention their first sledding and skating expeditions and celebrating the youngest’s birthday.

Since their arrival, life for all of us has been a whirlwind: happiness and anxiety and stress and gratitude and inspiration and worry…and so many things lost in translation (literally). There was an initial and intense flurry of activity in the autumn as we learned about our roles and responsibilities as a sponsor group, collecting donations, finding them a place to live, filling out forms and generally trying to figure out how we were going to do this! But in spite of this – or perhaps because of this – the resettlement journey so far feels like one of the most piercingly human experiences I have ever had.

I had been considering sponsorship for some time, and so once the BVOR fund was announced, I immediately reached out to friends in Ottawa to see who would like to join up. The passion was there in everyone, but like most people nowadays, the time commitment was a worry. By eliminating the need to do extensive fundraising, the BVOR Fund really helped many people jump over that final hurdle and take the plunge.

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PRESS RELEASE: Trebek Forum 2019 – “Humanizing Migration” through Private Refugee Sponsorship https://refugeehub.ca/press-release-trebek-forum-2019-humanizing-migration-through-private-refugee-sponsorship/ Thu, 13 Jun 2019 19:07:03 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1625 OTTAWA – 13 June, 2019 – On June 20th, World Refugee Day, Canadian and international thought leaders from government, academia and civil society will come together at the University of Ottawa for the bilingual 2019 Trebek Forum on “Humanizing Migration: Rights, Refuge, Responsibilities”. The Forum will feature high-level speakers, workshops, and a screening of the…

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OTTAWA – 13 June, 2019 – On June 20th, World Refugee Day, Canadian and international thought leaders from government, academia and civil society will come together at the University of Ottawa for the bilingual 2019 Trebek Forum on “Humanizing Migration: Rights, Refuge, Responsibilities”. The Forum will feature high-level speakers, workshops, and a screening of the documentary “I am Rohingya” with the aim of humanizing public debate on migration to Canada.

As we come together to enrich and broaden public debate on migration, Canada also celebrates 40 years of private refugee sponsorship in 2019. Canada’s Blended Visa Office Referred Program (BVOR) is a unique sponsorship program which allows Canadians and government to come together and help bring UNHCR referred refugees to Canada. Since 1979 Canadians have welcomed over 327 000 refugees to Canada who have enriched and emboldened Canadian communities.

Welcoming refugees through private sponsorship opens the door to humanizing migration. The Refugee Hub’s Director of National Programs, Emilie Coyle, shares: “Sponsorship is a shared recognition of humanity. When you’re in this extremely stressful, traumatic, and often scary situation, it is really helpful to know that other human beings see you and are willing to assist you. With BVOR, it’s a stranger who says ‘I see you as a human being, and even though I don’t know you, I welcome you. Let me help you on your journey toward finding shelter and safety’. Your biases, assumptions, and stereotypes are challenged when you have a real human being in front of you. That’s what happens with sponsorship.”

On May 2nd 2019, The Refugee Hub launched the 2019 BVOR Fund which facilitates sponsorship by allowing qualifying Canadian groups to have their portion of settlement costs fully covered by the fund. The goal of the Fund is to encourage sponsorship and allow all 1650 spots allocated to the BVOR program to be filled.

To learn more about the BVOR program, the 2019 BVOR Fund, and how to apply to sponsor, please visit https://refugeehub.ca/program/bvor/ or contact us a bvorfund@refugeehub.ca.

To learn more about humanizing migration in Canada, please visit https://www.uottawa.ca/gazette/en/news/humanizing-migration-uottawa-experts-answer-crucial-questions.

The 2019 Trebek Forum is Co-organized and Co-hosted by:

The University of Ottawa, Carleton University, Université Saint Paul, Université du Québec en Outaouais, The Refugee Hub, and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre.

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Invitation: Roundtable with Expert in Election Interference/ Table ronde avec une experte en matière d’ingérence dans les élections https://refugeehub.ca/invitation-roundtable-with-expert-in-election-interference-table-ronde-avec-une-experte-en-matiere-dingerence-dans-les-elections/ Wed, 05 Jun 2019 17:37:06 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1622 Français ci-dessous The University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, together with the Public Policy Forum and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, is pleased to be hosting Sasha Havlicek, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and a world-renowned expert on extremism, online disinformation and foreign interference in elections. Most recently, the ISD…

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Français ci-dessous

The University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, together with the Public Policy Forum and the Human Rights Research and Education Centre, is pleased to be hosting Sasha Havlicek, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) and a world-renowned expert on extremism, online disinformation and foreign interference in elections. Most recently, the ISD has been deeply engaged with exposing challenges relating to the European Parliament Elections.

As we prepare for Canada’s upcoming federal election, we are delighted to invite you to a roundtable discussion with Sasha. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Roundtable with Sasha Havlicek on online disinformation and foreign interference in elections

University of Ottawa, Faculty of Social Sciences Building (120 University Private), Room 4004

Tuesday, June 11, 8:30 – 10:00AM

Space is Limited!: RSVP as soon as possible to rhian.foley@refugeehub.ca

About the roundtable:

Sasha Havlicek will discuss the findings of ISD’s recent work to identify and expose malign state and non-state actor information operations targeting the May, 2019 European Parliament Elections, which builds on ISD’s analysis of online disinformation campaigns over the last two years in Europe. This will be followed by a closed-door, interactive conversation with participants, including discussion of how these issues can be expected to play out in the upcoming Canadian federal elections.

About Sasha Havlicek:

Sasha Havlicek, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), is an world renowned expert on extremism, online disinformation, and foreign interference in elections. ISD has been deeply involved in tracking and analyzing social media manipulation for many years, and is focusing intensely on how such disinformation and misinformation play out in electoral environments. Sasha also works closely with both governments and business to help shape both public and private policies that can mitigate social media manipulation.


Le Carrefour des réfugiés de l’Université d’Ottawa, en collaboration avec le Forum des politiques publiques et le Centre de recherche et d’enseignement sur les droits de la personne, se réjouit d’accueillir Sasha Havlicek, fondatrice et PDG de l’Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)et experte mondialement renommée en matière d’extrémisme, de désinformation en ligne et d’ingérence étrangère dans les élections. Plus récemment, le ISD a travaillé avec énergie pour exposer les défis et enjeux liés aux élections du Parlement européen.

En cette veille d’élections fédérales au Canada, nous avons le plaisir de vous inviter à une discussion sous forme de table ronde avec Sasha. Nous espérons vous y voir en grand nombre !

Table ronde avec Sasha Havlicek sur la désinformation en ligne et l’ingérence étrangère dans les élections

Université d’Ottawa, édifice de la Faculté des Sciences sociales (120, rue Université privée), salle 4004

Le mardi 11 juin de 8 h 30 à 10 h

Le nombre de places est limité ! alors RSVP dès que possible à rhian.foley@refugeehub.ca

Au sujet de la table ronde :

Sasha Havlicek discutera des conclusions des récents travaux réalisés par l’ISD concernant l’identification et la dénonciation des activités d’information pernicieuses de la part d’intervenants étatiques et non étatiques visant les élections du Parlement européen en mai 2019, qui se fondent sur l’analyse de l’ISD sur les campagnes de désinformation en ligne au cours des deux dernières années en Europe. Cette discussion sera suivie d’une conversation interactive à huis clos avec les participants, notamment une discussion quant au rôle que joueront ces questions lors des prochaines élections fédérales au Canada.

Au sujet de Sasha Havlicek : Sasha Havlicek est lafondatrice et la PDG de l’Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD). Elle est une experte mondialement renommée en matière d’extrémisme, de désinformation en ligne et d’ingérence étrangère dans les élections. Plus récemment, l’ISD s’est chargé de recenser et d’analyser les manipulations des médias sociaux pendant plusieurs années, en se concentrant plus particulièrement sur la manière dont cette désinformation et ces informations trompeuses influencent les milieux électoraux. Sasha travaille en outre en étroite collaboration avec les gouvernements et les entreprises qui aident à façonner les politiques des secteurs public et privé susceptibles de minimiser les manipulations exercées dans les médias sociaux.

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BVOR Sponsorship Stories: An 2SLGTBQI+ group’s first sponsorship experience https://refugeehub.ca/bvor-sponsorship-stories-an-2slgtbqi-groups-first-sponsorship-experience/ Tue, 28 May 2019 21:59:03 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1595 Darryl Hol is a member of a 2SLGTBQI+ sponsorship group that sponsored a transgender refugee through the 2018 BVOR Fund. He shares with us their experience. Find out more about how you can be part of the 2019 BVOR Fund. We sponsored a trans woman who had faced violence and persecution in her home country.…

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Darryl Hol is a member of a 2SLGTBQI+ sponsorship group that sponsored a transgender refugee through the 2018 BVOR Fund. He shares with us their experience. Find out more about how you can be part of the 2019 BVOR Fund.

We sponsored a trans woman who had faced violence and persecution in her home country. In spite of that, she arrived with an optimistic outlook and a fierce determination to succeed in Canada. You can really never forget welcoming a newcomer at the Ottawa airport. We were dressed in our best Canadian gear and each gave her a huge hug. When other people realized what was happening, they came up to her to say, “Welcome to Canada”. We even unfurled a pride flag and she burst into tears of joy knowing she was somewhere safe where she was free to be herself.

Our newcomer has been in Canada for just six months and has gone from speaking only a few words of English and knowing absolutely nothing about Canada, to being able to do errands and make friends of her own. We are so proud of her! She attends language school every day and does further homework in her spare time, and she would like to begin working as soon as her English is good enough.

We’re a group of queer people who have NEVER done anything like this before! We heard there was a need for sponsor groups and thought that we could help to provide someone with an opportunity to find safety and acceptance in Canada. We had no idea what to do or what to expect. Luckily there are so many resources in our city and generous individuals who are willing to offer support and guidance. We have felt so supported. As a sponsor, you learn so much. You learn about the resilience of the human spirit, you learn to navigate challenging situations with your group members, and you can’t help but gain a newfound appreciation for this country we are all so lucky to call home.

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Registration for the 2019 Alex Trebek Forum is open! https://refugeehub.ca/registration-for-the-2019-alex-trebek-forum-is-open/ Thu, 09 May 2019 14:49:32 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1548 The bilingual “Humanizing Migration” Forum, to be held at the University of Ottawa on June 20th (World Refugee Day) will bring together Canadian and international thought leaders from government, academia and civil society to humanize public debate on migration to Canada. We are pleased to announce that the following guests will speak on our high-level panel…

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The bilingual “Humanizing Migration” Forum, to be held at the University of Ottawa on June 20th (World Refugee Day) will bring together Canadian and international thought leaders from government, academia and civil society to humanize public debate on migration to Canada.

We are pleased to announce that the following guests will speak on our high-level panel on Canadian leadership in global migration policy: the Hon. Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Ahmed Hussen, the Hon. Senator Ratna Omidvar, UNHCR Representative in Canada Jean-Nicolas Beuze, and Mustafa Alio, co-founder of the Network for Refugee Voices. The panel will be moderated by the Refugee Hub’s own Professor Jennifer Bond.

The forum will include:

  • A high-level panel on Canadian leadership in global migration policy
  • Workshops on settlement, environmental migration, education and the Safe Third Country Agreement
  • A photography exhibit
  • A publications and poster fair
  • A film screening

The event will be free and open to the public, but registration is necessary at:

http://tiny.cc/ctgc6y

For more information, please contact Christina Clark-Kazak, cclarkka@uottawa.ca.


Le forum bilingue « Humaniser la migration », qui aura lieu à l’Université d’Ottawa le 20 juin 2019 (Journée mondiale des réfugiés), rassemblera des leaders canadiens et internationaux œuvrant au niveau gouvernemental, académique ou parmi la société civile afin de contribuer à humaniser le débat public sur la migration au Canada.

Le forum inclura :

  • Un panel de haut niveau sur le leadership du Canada dans la politique migratoire internationale
  • Des ateliers portant sur l’installation des migrants, la migration environnementale, l’éducation et l’Entente sur les tiers pays sûrs
  • Une exposition de photos
  • Une foire de publications et d’affiches
  • La projection d’un film

Cet événement sera gratuit et ouvert au public, mais il est nécessaire de s’inscrire à:

http://tiny.cc/ctgc6y

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter Christina Clark-Kazak: cclarkka@uottawa.ca

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PRESS RELEASE: Funds Now Available for Canadians to Sponsor Hundreds of Refugees in 2019 https://refugeehub.ca/press-release-funds-now-available-for-canadians-to-sponsor-hundreds-of-refugees-in-2019/ Thu, 02 May 2019 16:38:25 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1527 Special initiative brings together sponsors & funders to resettle UNHCR referred refugees to Canada OTTAWA, ONTARIO, 2 May 2019 – The University of Ottawa Refugee Hub is delighted to announce the renewal of its successful 2018 BVOR Fund. The new time-limited fund will facilitate the sponsorship to Canada of refugees identified by the United Nations…

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Special initiative brings together sponsors & funders to resettle UNHCR referred refugees to Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, 2 May 2019 – The University of Ottawa Refugee Hub is delighted to announce the renewal of its successful 2018 BVOR Fund. The new time-limited fund will facilitate the sponsorship to Canada of refugees identified by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Seeded by two of last year’s lead donors– The Shapiro Foundation and G. Barrie Landry– the goal of the 2019 BVOR Fund will once again be to grow participation in sponsorship and maximize the number of refugee resettlement spaces being utilized.

Beginning today, qualifying Canadian groups can apply to have their portion of the settlement costs associated with sponsoring a refugee through the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) program fully covered by the fund. Groups will remain responsible for securing funding or in-kind donations to cover start-up costs such as clothing and furniture.

In addition, qualifying Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) will, for the first time, be able to apply for funds to help with the administrative costs associated with supporting increased BVOR sponsorships.

The 2019 BVOR Fund is also encouraging others to join our partnership through small and large donations. Those who cannot sponsor but are interested in directly supporting both refugees and the neighbours that welcome them are encouraged to contribute.

A similar fund was created in 2018 with the generous financial support of The Shapiro Foundation, the Giustra Foundation, G. Barrie Landry and other donors. In 2018, the fund supported 150 groups in 49 Canadian communities, who together sponsored over 650 refugees.

The Government of Canada has approved 1,650 refugee protection spaces under the BVOR program for 2019. Currently, there are over 1, 000 spaces yet to be matched for arrival in 2019.  Under this program, the UNHCR identifies refugees to come to Canada, and the Canadian government and sponsor groups share settlement costs.

All refugees sponsored to Canada undergo rigorous security, legal and health checks. Once they arrive in Canada, they are welcomed and supported by their sponsorship group for a minimum of one year.

Applications for sponsorship funding and SAH funding will be accepted until August 31, 2019, or until the 2019 BVOR Fund is exhausted. 

If you would like to become a BVOR sponsor, apply for sponsorship or SAH funding, or make a donation, please contact bvorfund@refugeehub.ca.

To see the power of sponsorship in action, watch this short film to meet one of the groups supported by the 2018 BVOR Fund:  https://youtu.be/erqR8WBGkzo

For further information: bvorfund@refugeehub.ca or T: (613) 562-5800 ext. 1136

QUOTES

“Community generosity and neighbourly kindness are at the heart of Canada’s incredible sponsorship program. The BVOR Fund aims to mobilize and support sponsorship groups so that they in turn can support more refugees. It is a privilege to partner with generous donors, the UNHCR, and phenomenal organizations across the country as we all aim to maximize use of Canada’s resettlement capacity. Most of all, it is a privilege to work with so many incredible sponsors, each of whom strengthens Canada and inspires us all by helping refugees become our new neighbours.”
Jennifer Bond, Managing Director, Refugee Hub

“Once again, I am incredibly proud to partner with the Refugee Hub and Barrie Landry to launch a BVOR Fund to support sponsors across Canada in their efforts to welcome newcomers. We have been so inspired to hear the stories from first-time and repeat sponsor groups across the country and newcomers who arrived under the 2018 BVOR Fund.  Resettling refugees in Canada through private sponsorship is a model which benefits everyone involved and as a philanthropist there is no investment I’m more proud of.”
Ed Shapiro, Trustee, The Shapiro Foundation

“At a time of record high global needs, it is critical to support sponsor groups who have served as a model for welcoming refugees. I am proud to join forces with Ed Shapiro and the Refugee Hub & with so many others working to provide lasting solutions for refugees.”  
G. Barrie Landry

“As displacement trends continue to increase globally, resettlement offers an important lifeline to the women, men and children forced to flee their homes. The BVOR programme supports Canada’s long tradition of welcoming refugees through sponsorship at a time when needs are great and every resettlement space counts. The Fund and it’s generous donors will enable more volunteer groups to provide refugees with a truly lifesaving solution.”
Jean Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR Country Representative Canada

ABOUT

Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program
The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program matches refugees identified for resettlement by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with private sponsors in Canada.

  • The UNHCR identifies the refugees.
  • The Government of Canada gives up to six months of income support.
  • Private sponsors give another six months of financial support. They also give up to a year of social and emotional support.

More: https://www.unhcr.ca/sponsoring-refugees-for-resettlement-in-canada/

The Refugee Hub
The Refugee Hub was founded at the University of Ottawa in 2012. Its mission is to foster justice and human rights for refugees at local, national and international levels through innovative research, programs and partnerships. The Refugee Hub’s  projects include the Refugee Sponsorship Support Program, which supports Canadian sponsors, and the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, which encourages and supports the adoption of community sponsorship programs in countries outside of Canada. More: www.refugeehub.ca

The Shapiro Foundation
The Shapiro Foundation, founded by Barbara and Edward Shapiro in 2000, is a U.S. charitable foundation focused on improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The foundation’s primary focus is on children, refugees and immigrants, as well as education, global health and humanitarian aid. Support is provided for organizations in Boston and throughout the US, as well as Canada, Israel, Greece, Rwanda, and Bangladesh. More: www.theshapirofoundation.org

G. Barrie Landry
G. Barrie Landry is a philanthropist focusing on social justice issues often faced by vulnerable populations in the areas of global health, education, refugee resettlement and self-reliance, and child protection.

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PRESS RELEASE: Celebrating 40 years of refugee sponsorship: A Canadian-led success in resettlement https://refugeehub.ca/press-release-celebrating-40-years-of-refugee-sponsorship-a-canadian-led-success-in-resettlement/ Fri, 12 Apr 2019 12:52:54 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1489 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 12, 2019 – On April 9th, 2019, a dedicated and inspired group of people gathered at the Senate of Canada to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. The room quickly filled with conversations between parliamentarians, government officials, immigration and settlement professionals, business leaders, private refugee sponsors,…

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David Majok (Left), Jennifer Bond, Gregory Maniatis, Senator Mary Coyle, Tareq Hadhad, Senator Peter Boehm, Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Senator Ratna Omidvar, Jana Sobey (Right).

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 12, 2019 – On April 9th, 2019, a dedicated and inspired group of people gathered at the Senate of Canada to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. The room quickly filled with conversations between parliamentarians, government officials, immigration and settlement professionals, business leaders, private refugee sponsors, and former refugees. Hosted by the Honourable Senators Ratna Omidvar, Mary Coyle and Peter M. Boehm, in partnership with Professor Jennifer Bond of the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, this evening celebration highlighted the transformative impact of refugee sponsorship on both refugee newcomers and communities.

Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program has mobilized more than two million Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor over 300,000 refugees. The program’s domestic success has served as an inspiration to the global community seeking new ways to share the responsibility of responding to the global refugee crisis.

“Canadians have been the drivers of the success of this program and tonight we say to you, thank you”, emphasized the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. The event featured a diverse range of leaders in the community sharing their perspectives on the program. Speakers included Nova Scotia’s Tareq Hadhad, Founder of Peace by Chocolate; Jana Sobey, VP Merchandising, Sobeys; David Majok, BVOR Refugee Sponsor, Coordinator at the City of Ottawa and former refugee; as well as Gregory Maniatis partner on the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI).

Canadian citizens and permanent residents take the lead in welcoming and providing integration support to refugee newcomers in the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. The engagement of Canadians from all backgrounds and from communities large and small has enabled Canada to bring more refugees to safety, but it has also enriched the communities themselves in countless ways and actively contributes to stronger and increasingly welcoming communities.

In December 2016, Canada, alongside the UNHCR, Open Society Foundations, the Giustra Foundation, and the University of Ottawa, launched the GRSI to share Canada’s four decades of experience with its sponsorship model with the world and to offer support to other countries seeking to establish their own community-led refugee sponsorship programs. Since the GRSI’s launch, six other countries have joined Canada in designing or implementing refugee sponsorship programs: Germany, Spain, Argentina, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Ireland. More than twelve other countries are actively studying the model’s feasibility in their own contexts.

In 2018, only 150,000 individuals were resettled as state commitments to offering this protection option decreased globally. In this time of unprecedented humanitarian need, Canadians from coast to coast to coast continue to show their global leadership in bringing some of the world’s most vulnerable individuals to safety.

Quotes:

“Canadians should be incredibly proud of what they have accomplished over the last 40 years and of the global impact they are having by sharing their experience of community-based refugee sponsorship. As community-based refugee sponsorship programs are being launched around the world, they offer significant potential for growing the number of refugee resettlement opportunities globally” – Jennifer Bond of the Chair, Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative

“I was lucky that a family member connected me to an Ottawa Sponsorship Agreement Holder and through their efforts and the efforts of my family member, I started my life and my dreams a new here in Canada.” David Majok – BVOR Refugee Sponsor, Coordinator at the City of Ottawa and former refugee

“Being a refugee is not a choice or a life-goal. Sponsoring a refugee is a decision of the noblest act that can change lives and futures forever and bring back our belief in humanity by giving a great opportunity to someone who might be counting down to death. Private sponsorship is a win-win arrangement to help our communities grow and prosper as well as integrate the talented newcomers who don’t come here empty but with lots of experience and determination.” – Tareq Hadhad – Founder – Peace by Chocolate

“Watching Peace by Chocolate grow from the farmers market in Antigonish in rural Nova Scotia to a national chocolate supplier in Canada in only two short years has been nothing but inspiring.” – Jana Sobey – VP Field Merchandising, Sobeys

“The private sponsorship of refugees program is a modern form of nation building. By allowing individuals to engage directly in their resettlement, Canadians are able to put themselves in the shoes of those fleeing violence and persecution and have a tremendous impact on their resettlement.” – The Honourable Ratna Omidvar – Senator for Ontario

“British poet and former refugee Warsan Shire said: “no one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” For the Hadhad family, who lost thriving chocolate factory in an air strike, and for the millions of their compatriots, who were also displaced, Syria had become just that, as dangerous as the mouth of a shark. Today, living in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, supported by Syria Antigonish Families Embrace (SAFE) and national business partner Sobeys, the Hadhads and their successful Peace by Chocolate business have transformed their story of war and loss into a shining beacon of hope through courage, vision and hard work, with a proud community standing beside them.” -The Honourable Mary Coyle – Senator for Nova Scotia

“Upon arrival to a new country, refugees face a number of challenges. … It is thanks to initiatives like the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program that new members of Canadian society are better able to integrate into our communities and adjust to their new lives here in Canada. … This is a program of which all Canadians should be proud.” -The Honourable Peter M. Boehm – Senator for Ontario

“At this moment of history, our politics really need this. Canadians are bringing to the world not just the experience of sponsorship, but also a deep knowledge of how to build community, and with refugees at the heart of that effort.” Gregory Maniatis – partner on the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative – Program Director at Open Society Foundations

For more information:

Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative: http://refugeesponsorship.org/

Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/refugees/help-outside-canada/private-sponsorship-program.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/refugees/help-outside-canada/private-sponsorship-program/blended-visa-office-program.html

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JOB OPPORTUNITY: Executive Coordinator https://refugeehub.ca/job-opportunity-executive-coordinator/ Fri, 01 Mar 2019 18:18:49 +0000 https://refugeehub.ca/?p=1468 The Refugee Hub is hiring an Executive Coordinator to join our team! The Refugee Hub at University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law was founded in 2012 by Professor Jennifer Bond. Since its inception, the Hub has both generated cutting-edge research and provided responsive policy and program interventions in support of refugees in Canada and around…

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The Refugee Hub is hiring an Executive Coordinator to join our team!


The Refugee Hub at University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law was founded in 2012 by Professor Jennifer Bond. Since its inception, the Hub has both generated cutting-edge research and provided responsive policy and program interventions in support of refugees in Canada and around the world.  Our mission is to foster justice and human rights for refugees through innovative research, programs and partnerships.

The Refugee Hub is seeking an Executive Coordinator starting in mid-May 2019 to work directly with Prof. Bond to support her logistical, administrative and institutional needs within the Refugee Hub, at the University of Ottawa, and in relation to her work as Chair of the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative. This role is a unique opportunity to work on a growing team with some of the world’s leading experts in refugee resettlement and on some of the most exciting projects happening within the refugee protection space.

The ideal candidate will have a passion and drive to work in a dynamic, complex and fast-paced work environment. They will be a highly-organized, self-motivated person who excels at problem-solving, organization, coordination, and relationship-building, and also demonstrates a high degree of professionalism, discretion, tact and responsibility, including when managing various files with little supervision. This is a full-time position based in Ottawa, Ontario with a salary range of 58K to 65K annually.


Specific duties include:

  • Management of Prof. Bond’s complex schedule and appointments, organizing meetings nationally and internationally, prioritizing conflicting needs; handling matters expeditiously and proactively; managing high level stakeholders in a highly professional manner while exercising discretion and good judgement
  • Coordinate the flow of information and requests, including working closely with colleagues from the Refugee Hub, University of Ottawa and external partners who are requesting meetings, contributions and approvals
  • Provide executive-level communications support including drafting and editing of confidential correspondence, emails and reference letters. This also includes draft reports, summaries and meeting or call minutes as requested
  • Accompany Prof. Bond and other key stakeholders at in-person and virtual meetings, as well as provide general high-level staffing support re preparation of briefing binders, note taking, logistics, stakeholder management, etc…
  • Manage significant professional travel arrangements both national & international, including logistics and preparing claims for reimbursement in conjunction with the Hub’s Finance Assistant
  • Collaborate with the larger Refugee Hub team on a variety of files including events, finances, administration or communications as required
  • The role will involve regular flexible working hours, with occasional evening and weekend availability

Essential qualifications

  • Minimum 4 years of training or relevant work experience
  • High level of self-motivation and ease working independently
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to correspond effectively with high level stakeholders and manage complex administrative portfolios
  • Excellent organizational, coordination and tracking skills with a high level of attention to detail and accuracy, and including basic financial literacy
  • Demonstrated maturity, tact, integrity and diplomacy with a professional presence and manner capable of exercising personal judgment and flexibility
  • High proficiency with office technology, including Microsoft 365
  • Ability to work in a very fast-paced and dynamic environment on a wide range of tasks and projects, including ability to prioritize tasks
  • Experience in issues related to refugees and migration, while helpful, is not required; however, a strong interest in learning about these issues is essential

If you are interested in contributing to the work of the Refugee Hub as Executive Coordinator, please submit your CV and cover letter by March 31, 2019 by e-mail to info@refugeehub.ca. Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Please include “Executive Coordinator” in the subject line.

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