The UVic political science refugee sponsorship team is working in conjunction with the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria to sponsor a family. (Courtesy Robin Bayley)

UVic group seeks to sponsor, mentor refugee family

20-person team looks to do more than just raise money

A group made up of the University of Victoria political science community is trying to sponsor a refugee family.

The 20-person team is working in conjunction with the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) to sponsor the family and help narrow the gap between the number of refugee spaces available in Canada and the actual number that make it here.

According to a document released by the group, in August 2018 Canada’s blended visa office-referred (BVOR) program had a capacity of 1,500 refugee cases, but more than 1,000 were left unclaimed due to lack of sponsorship.

Robin Bayley is a UVic alumnus, while her husband is a professor at UVic. Both are part of the sponsorship group.

“After the initial Syrian crisis it just hasn’t received a lot of attention,” Bayley said. “People might not realize that there’s fully vetted refugees in desperate need that have essentially gone unclaimed.”

That’s largely due to cost. According to Bayley, sponsoring a family through the BVOR and the ICA takes at least $30,000. That number can be higher depending on the makeup of the family, but groups typically don’t find out that information until shortly before the family arrives. The government does provide some funding as well, although Bayley said a nuclear family would be entitled to just under $10,000 from the federal government over a six-month period.

“It’s meant to be what the equivalent family would get from income supports from the province,” Bayley said. “It’s obviously too little to live in Victoria’s rental market.”

The UVic group is taking donations online and directly through the ICA. They hope to hit $15,000 by the end of the month, allowing them to get on the list to receive a family. If they miss the deadline it would be one more month before they can put their hands up to officially sponsor a family.

After arrival, they would need to continue fundraising at least until they hit the $30,000 mark. However, Bayley said the group hopes members of the public will be able to pick up the financial burden, as the group expects to take on full-time roles as mentors, advisors, helpers and friends to the family.

“My husband and I jumped on board right away. We like to think of ourselves as progressive people and we are appalled by the anti-immigration sentiment sweeping across the world,” Bayley said. “It’s one thing to speak amongst friends in a pro immigration way, but it’s another to actually back that up with actions, and we felt compelled to do that.”

Online donations to the group can be made at https://chimp.net/groups/support-a-refugee-family-for-resettlement-in-victoria, or by getting in contact with ICA.



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

High-profile Port Alberni murders are the centre of new true crime book

Retired journalist Shayne Morrow pairs historic murders with the science that solved them

Canadiana complete when Murray McLauchlan’s in the house

Legendary singer/songwriter brings his folksy talents to the McPherson on June 13

So, they found ‘Dave from Vancouver Island’

Dave Tryon, now 72, will reunite with long-ago travelling friends in Monterey, Calif.

COLUMN: Motoring along sure to be different with changes to cars, infrastructure

Younger generation seems intent on creating a more efficient planet

Vancouver Islander pens Mourning Has Broken following death of her daughter

Book by radio host Erin Davis gives advice to others struggling with grief

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve investigating after sea lion found shot in the head

Animal is believed to have been killed somewhere between Ucluelet and Tofino

Most Read