Limited-Time Funding for Sponsoring BVOR Refugees
The University of Ottawa Refugee Hub announced that together with Jewish Family Services of Ottawa, it will administer a new fund created by the Shapiro Foundation and an anonymous donor that is aimed at facilitating the sponsorship of 1,000 refugees through the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) program.
All sponsor costs will be generously covered for applications submitted by September 17, 2018, which is the deadline that will allow for the arrival of refugee families no later than the end of the year.
As a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa has been a sponsor of refugees for over 35 years through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
“I was hungry and you gave me food.
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.
I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
– Matthew 25.35
Impact of Sponsorships
Below is the outcome of the work of our many sponsorship groups for the period between September 2015 and December 2016:
- Landings of named Private Sponsorship of Refugees sponsorships: 47 persons from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria
- Landings of Blended Visa Office-Referred sponsorships: 184 persons form the Central African Republic, Colombia, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, Myanmar, and Syria
- Joint Assistance Sponsorships: 7 persons from Syria
- Named Private Sponsorship of Refugees sponsorships submitted before December 2016 but not yet landed: 112 persons from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria
With Syrians accounting for 260 persons in the statistics above, we were grateful for the support of Refugee 613, which launched “Community” to collect and share the stories of Ottawa residents who were part of the remarkable community effort to resettle more than 2,100 Syrian refugees in 2015-16. Yet, while it is appropriate to acknowledge our accomplishments as a community, the purpose if the website is also to encourage continued support for newcomers and refugees around the world, including those we will welcome in the future.
In 2017, the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa Sponsorship Agreement Holder has submitted nine Blended Visa Office-Referred sponsorships, representing 29 persons, and is currently working on the many named Private Sponsorship ofRefugees sponsorships we will submit using the application spaces we have received this year from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Our waiting list has filled our estimate of the spaces we may receive for 2018.
Sponsorship Agreement in Ottawa
Unique to our location in Ottawa, comes the opportunity for our Sponsorship Agreement Holder and sponsors to interact with international visitors who are interested in exploring the possibility of bringing the uniquely Canadian Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program home to their countries, increasing the world’s capacity to resettle refugees when their numbers are at a record high of 22.5 million.
“Please tell everybody that we really appreciate everything they have done for us… Thanks for making us feel safe and happy,”
– The mother of a sponsored family