Great News! Family No 2 (a beautiful couple and their two girls) arrived in July and are well settled now and attending school. They've reconnected with family and making lots of progress on English and learning about Canada. Family No. 1 has arrived at the end of October! We're so excited to welcome these two teens and two adults in this family.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to fundraising for Family #3 (13 of them!). We havemet our goal with your very generous support. Our Syrian family is overwhelmed with joy; we now begin the process of completing the government application forms. Thank you!!
"Private sponsorship is considered a best practice within international immigration and refugee circles in part because of its track record in Canada. Refugees, private sponsors, and Canada as a whole have benefited immensely from the practice. Privately sponsored refugees have a built-in support network embedded in the local community, made up of people who are socially and economically established. As a result, they can experience a sense of belonging from the moment they arrive. What’s more, program evaluations show that privately sponsored refugees are more likely to enter the Canadian job market sooner and at higher income levels than those who enter as refugees outside of the PSR program.”
The above quote is from "Crowdsourcing Refugee Resettlement", an article published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (Winter 2018) by Ratna Omidvar, an independent senator for the Province of Ontario, and Mustafa Alio, cofounder of Refugee Career Jumpstart Project. The article can be found here:https://ssir.org/articles/entry/crowdsourcing_refugee_resettlement
Policy Options article that mentions the successful RRR Initiative:
"Among the many successes have been the Roncesvalles Refugee Relief, a volunteer-led organization and sponsorship group in Toronto, and the network of academic institutions supporting sponsorship known as the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge. But there have been a lot of challenges for those working together to sponsor refugees. Those challenges along with the program’s needs and best practices are in urgent need of a full and deep analysis if Canada is to keep its gold standard and achieve its humanitarian goals."
A bit of History: Roncesvalles Refugee Relief (RRR) is a group of more than 45 friends and neighbours who came together in late 2015 to sponsor a refugee family.At that time, we partnered with Bloor Street United Church, a congregation that was willing to work with us in an innovative manner.This partnership also enabled us to direct donations online to their Canada Helps page which in turn allowed us to provide charitable tax receipts to donors.For those wishing to donate using a cheque, we also partnered with CultureLink, a not-for-profit organization established in our neighbourhood over 25 years ago.CultureLink provides settlement services to newcomers including information and referrals in a variety of areas such as healthcare, legal, employment, education and language training.Once again, those donating to RRR through CultureLink receive a charitable tax receipt.
Our Track Record: Our fundraising efforts in 2016 were so successful that we were able to submit sponsorship applications for two families.While they have not yet arrived in Canada, we expect them in the latter half of 2018.The money we raised will allow us to cover all of the families' expenses during their first year in Toronto.These expenses includerent, food, clothing, furniture, transportation, language training and other settlement costs.
Our Current Challenge: The reality is that it takes at least 2-3 years for a sponsored family to arrive in Canada.Given that reality, we have commenced another fundraising drive to sponsor a 3rd family which will arrive after our first two are settled. However, we need to have all the money required to support that family for one year in a dedicated account BEFORE we can submit a sponsorship application. We have a good start on the fundraising but every donation helps move the arrival closer. This time we plan to bring a large (13 member) Syrian family, originally from Aleppo, to Canada. With luck, we hope to meet them in person in 2021!While that time may seem in the distant future, the fact remains that our efforts in the near term will eventually bring a family of highly educated and motivated young people to establish their lives in a safe country.The family we have decided to sponsor has 6 adult children between the ages of 18-31 years.Four are engineers, one is a dentist and one is studying medicine in Turkey.The youngest child, a girl, is in Grade 9.The eldest, an engineer is married with three children.
How you can help: Roncesvalles Refugee Relief is a volunteer led and run organization.Every penny we raise will go directly to sponsoring our new refugee family.We rely upon the kindness of friends, and strangers, to help meet our fundraising goals.You can help us help others by donating to our cause.And you will receive a charitable tax receipt for your generosity. Find out more about us, and for other fundraising opportunities see Roncesvalles Refugee Relief website. And follow us on our Roncesvalles Refugee Relief Facebook group.
To donate using your charge card, via CanadaHelps, please follow thislink below:
Your support is crucial to help us bring this refugee family to Canada. Please donate! By doing so, you will be making our neighbourhood and community a stronger, richer, and more meaningful place for us all to live.
We're excited and want to provide our friends, neighbours, and supporters with the opportunity to participate (and have a lot of fun too!) Our donor page is up and running and people are contributing. Thank you! Any contribution you can make, by donating will be very much appreciated.