Getting YOU Involved!
Throughout the month of May, we are asking for contributions, beyond regular giving, to help sustain this new ministry. There are three ways you can help.
- One-time financial contributions towards the initial expenses involved in getting a family started on their new life in Canada.
- Sponsorship extends over a twelve month period after the family arrives in Canada. Throughout this time, the family will require funds on a monthly basis to ensure basic necessities and living expenses are covered. A financial commitment to provide a small, monthly contribution helps ensure this ministry is sustained over the long term.
- A family arriving in Canada will need furniture, dishes, groceries, bedding, and many more items. As we assess the needs of the family, we will call for donations of household items that specifically address the requirements of the family.
Before proceeding with an official application to Immigration Canada, the Refugee Support Team needs to gather information and resources. Currently, members of the team are:
- Seeking legal advice from Calgary Legal Guidance regarding specific areas of refugee sponsorship and ensuring we follow the best process and mitigate potential risks.
- Connecting to outside resources that are already assisting refugee families in Calgary will help our family to adjust to a new life in Canada quicker and establish stronger ties to the rest of the community in Calgary.
- Creating a thorough plan to assist in the initial weeks of arrival and settlement to aid the family in transitioning to a new life in Canada.
- Establishing a process for soliciting gifts-in-kind to provide the material supports and comforts for the family.
Throughout the process of sponsorship, there are many decisions to be made. These decisions, seemingly small, have implications throughout the process. One of the first decisions of the Refugee Support Team, is to establish preferences in terms of the nature of our sponsorship. Decisions such as family size, country of origin, and the timing of arrival guide the entire process as we move forward. These decisions impact the budget, ease of transition to life in Calgary, the timing for transition, the ability for members of our parish to connect and become involved in the life of this family, and many other ripple effects. After an exploration of evidence and trends among Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) refugees, the Refugee Support Team decided that our aim is to sponsor a young family from Syria. With this profile, it is likely that the family will be educated at a higher level and may possess a greater knowledge of English, hopefully facilitating the transition to life in Canada. Our hope is to arrange for arrival in the summer months of this year.
Overview of the Budget
A first step in sponsoring a refugee family is becoming familiar with the numbers. We knew, from the Diocese and research conducted prior to the Annual Meeting, that refugee sponsorship would cost the congregation about $35,000 over the next twelve months. What was less clear was where this money would go and what parameters or limitations this may set in our work going forward. Seeking clarity and answers of our own, a subgroup from the Refugee Support Team endeavoured to create a budget for the next year. While other groups have compiled this information for themselves, it was helpful and eye-opening for our group to learn how limiting a budget of $35,000 per year could be in our specific context. After some discussion, the budget looks something like this:
Cash Flow Chart Assumptions:
- Assumed family will arrive sometime during the summer of 2016. Also assumed that the family will be settled into the rental home in August.
- Cash flow chart assumes that we will support the family for one full calendar year. Costs will continue beyond July 2017.
- One-time expenses, for example household goods like furniture, kitchen items, etc., are assumed “late start”. This essentially means that if we wait or are delayed until the latest time to obtain/ purchase these goods (before the family arrives), the $ expenditure in the month of July will be the highest.
- Cash flow chart does not include the 5% contingency of approximately $1,700.00
- Across the one year duration that we will support the family, if setup and one –time expenses are excluded, the average monthly expenditure for this family will be $2,480 (high of 2,2967 in September 2016 to low of $2,393 for most other months).
For more information or answers to your questions please email the team.