Refugee Sponsorship Training Program

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What is BVOR ?

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Are you interested in helping refugees start a new life in on safe soil in Canada, but don’t know where to start?

The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program can match you with a BVOR refugee in urgent need for resettlement to Canada. This unique partnership between the Canadian government and community members in Canada has the potential of bringing an additional 1000 refugees to safety in Canada every year, with your help!

The Canadian government provides up to 6 months of financial support through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) while you would provide the remaining 6 months of support.

The involvement of Canadian community members is essential to the BVOR program. As sponsors, you’d provide newcomers with a sense of community and with much needed emotional, social and other supports that help to break the isolation of settling into a completely new country and often a new culture, alone.

Some of the practical settlement support that sponsors provide are things like:

  • Finding housing
  • Enrolling kids in school and adults in English language classes
  • Assistance with getting to know the local culture
  • Showing newcomers how to use local transit systems and other services
  • Going grocery shopping, and sharing a meal
  • Connecting the newcomer to a settlement worker to receive further settlement support

This special refugee matching program enriches Canadian communities by creating and strengthening bonds between existing neighbours, friends and family of different generations and backgrounds and by cultivating empathy and understanding for refugee related issues around the World.

Refugee sponsorship is a rewarding experience for the sponsor and sponsee.  Many sponsorship groups and former refugees find themselves maintaining lifelong contact with each other, as friends and even sometimes come to consider each other as family.

 

We’ll help you get started!

At the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), our BVOR Worker and our regional RSTP trainers provide orientation, training and support to individuals in Canada who want to support refugees through BVOR sponsorship. Our services are free of charge and funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The BVOR program is intended for community members who have no previous connection to the refugees that they will be sponsoring, who would simply like to volunteer their time and resources to have a positive impact on the global refugee crisis.

Please note: If you are a family member or a friend of a refugee who is known to you that you would like to sponsor, we recommend taking a look at the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program instead.

 

More about the BVOR program:

Who are the refugees selected for BVOR sponsorship?

Get started on your sponsorship training:

Ready to seek out and confirm a match with a BVOR refugee?

 

2022 BVOR Special Info Series

February 16 @ 3 PM EST – What’s New in BVOR
REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED
An overview of program changes, the new matching database, and new resources available to help sponsors prepare to welcome refugees.

March 16 @ 3 PM EST- International Women’s Day  
REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED
Focusing on Women leaders in refugee work

April 27 @ 3 PM EST- UNHCR Briefing on the Americas
REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED
Briefings from the field, providing insight from special guests doing work on the ground in the Americas. A moderated 20-minute Question & Answer period will follow the presentations. Attendees can submit their questions during the event, case specific questions will not be answered.

*Please note that this event is intended only for individuals who are active in the refugee, resettlement and settlement spaces, sponsors included. To request a registration link to this event, please email bvor@rstp.ca and include your name, contact info and the name of your organization or affiliation.

May 18 – Communication between Sponsors and Newcomers / Conflict Resolution
WATCH THE RECORDED WEBINAR HERE
Offering guidance in navigating cultural and language barriers to ensure everyone understands each other. Featuring advice from expert mediator, Rola Mustafa. 

June 23 @ 7 PM EST- World Refugee Day Celebration
REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED      DOWNLOAD THE EVENT POSTER

Celebrating the positive impact of refugees in Canadian communities with a very special guest panel discussion and entertainment. Stay tuned for details!

July 20 @ 3 PM EST – Pride / LGBTQI2+
CLICK TO REGISTER    DOWNLOAD THE POSTER HERE
Learn how to sponsor LGBTQ+ refugees to Canada. Featuring special guest presenters from Rainbow Refugee, focusing on the resettlement needs of people who identify as LGBTQI2+, the need for special sponsorship programs and more about the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership (RAPP) program and how it compares to BVOR.

July 21 @ 3 PM EST – Ask me Anything – BVOR Orientation Session (Introduction to the program)
CLICK TO REGISTER or join us on Facebook Live @RSTP1
Ask an RSTP trainer any of your lingering questions! Open to questions about the BVOR program and how to get started. 

August 17 @ 3 PM EST – Reasons for Resettlement
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An overview of the main reasons why people in asylum need to be resettled, when they cannot return home, nor stay safely where they are.

September 21 @ 3 PM EST – BVOR Program Orientation 
REGISTRATION LINK TO COME (to pre-register, email bvor@rstp.ca)
An overview and live Q & A about the BVOR program for first time sponsors and those just beginning to consider refugee sponsorship

October 19 @ 3 PM EST – Ask me Anything
CLICK TO REGISTER
Ask an RSTP trainer any of your lingering questions! Open to questions about preparing and processing applications, settlement needs, welcoming newcomers and the settlement process and resources available.

November 16 @ 3 PM EST – Women at Risk
CLICK TO REGISTER
An in depth look at the challenges women in asylum face and why resettlement often is the only durable solution for them. 

 

Please note: This program is only for previously selected and referred refugees by the UN Refugee Agency and the Government of Canada. Other partners cannot refer people to the program. If you know a refugee overseas whom you wish to sponsor, please check out the other Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program opportunities available.

Still have questions?

Contact our BVOR Worker, Paula Marshall:

bvor@rstp.ca
Tel: 416.290.1700 Ext.2406

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