The Canadian government is asking private sponsorship groups to sponsor thousands of Syrian refugees over the next three years.
The request is part of the United Nations’ response to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, which will see 100,000 refugees taken in by various countries. Of those, 10,000 people will find new homes in Canada with 6,000 of those taken in under the wings of private sponsorship groups.
People can learn what the financial and legal responsibilities of sponsoring someone into Canada are at an upcoming refugee sponsorship forum hosted by the the Central Vancouver Island Multicultural Society and the Bethlehem Retreat Centre.
“To have speakers in the know provide accurate information about what’s involved in sponsoring,” said Nannette Leather, multicultural society executive director.
The forum will feature special presentations by representatives from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program, the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. Resettlement Assistance Program.
Those attending will also learn how to form private sponsorship groups.
Leather said organizers wanted to give plenty of advance notice about the forum to give people time to seriously consider if this is something they want to do before attending.
“There is quite a process involved and definitely a legal and financial responsibility, so it’s the type of thing you don’t enter into without some thought process behind it, but a lot of people, at the same time, don’t know what’s involved and would be very interested to learn what’s involved,” Leather said.
The forum happens at the Bethlehem Retreat Centre at 2371 Arbot Rd., April 25, 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fee for registration, which is limited to two people per group, is $15 per person, which includes a hot lunch. To register online, please visit www.cvims.org.
Attending the event does not commit attendees to refugee sponsorship.