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Become a Sponsor

Any group of people who are committed to supporting a refugee family in a new life can become a sponsorship group: neighbours, co-workers, family and friends, or a community or church group.  A group of ten people is ideal to support a family for a year. Three of the BVOR sponsorship groups in Stratford were formed by individuals who came together because they all felt strongly that they wanted to welcome refugees to Stratford. Our city is a better place because they did.

The sponsorship group can access the necessary funds raised by Stratford Welcomes Refugees through the Mennonite Central Committee of Ontario.

How to Form a Sponsorship Group

Steps in forming a sponsorship group:

  1. Approach people who you think will join a sponsorship group.

  2. Decide on the roles of each member, according to their strengths and interests.

    • Group members are needed for the following roles:

      • Chair

      • Financial coordinator

      • Housing coordinator

      • Medical/health coordinator

      • Education coordinator

      • Employment connector

      • Transportation and interpretation organizer

      • Shopping coordinator

      • Social coordinator

  3. Be approved through the Mennonite Central Committee. This requires vulnerable sector criminal record checks, and proof of liability and vehicle insurance for all group members.

  4. Determine the size of family that the group is willing to sponsor.

  5. Be matched with a family through MCCO.

 

The Settlement Plan

Once the family is chosen, the group creates a settlement plan for that family. The plan will take into account access to medical and dental professionals, appropriate housing, school enrolment, English as a Second Language courses for adults, setting up banking, community integration, etc. The plan will be approved by MCCO.

Stratford Welcomes Refugees has experienced sponsors available to talk to potential groups about the sponsorship experience.  Email us at stratfordwelcomesrefugees@gmail.com

Advice:

Having one person in charge of each role makes things go smoothly.  It also means that the family learns who can best help with each of their needs. Having someone in charge of technology is very important. It also helps to have one person in charge of all the government forms. In practice, the group members need to help each other with the various roles as they come up.