One of our main goals is to better prepare settlement teams (“private sponsors”) to function in their role as social and emotional support for refugee newcomers. We do this in partnership with MOSAIC, which has over two decades of experience as a settlement organisation.
We do this in several ways:
- Our dedicated Refugee Sponsorship Coordinator works with settlement teams to ensure that refugees and teams are brought together in a way that considers the needs, strengths and opportunities both of the refugee applicant and the settlement team. The Coordinator then liaises regularly with all settlement teams to support them as they get to know the refugee prior to arrival and when they welcome them to Canada.
- We provide training in the form of both materials (handbooks, etc.) and webinars that address issues such as best practices in refugee sponsorship, responsibilities of settlement teams, and how to access local settlement services.
- We provide opportunities for peer communication and knowledge exchange between settlement teams and professionals regarding refugee and newcomer mental health.
- Through regular communication and more informal supports such as a private Facebook group for settlement team members, we provide up-to-date information on PNG and Nauru, private sponsorship, and what is happening with our settlement teams.
Once newcomers arrive, settlement teams will also be supported by dedicated MOSAIC Refugee Settlement Coordinators, one based in Vancouver and one based in Toronto, who will assist teams with settlement information and referrals to local settlement services.
We understand that none of this is possible without our phenomenal volunteers, and we are grateful to be part of this “village” that is so committed to refugee sponsorship.