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Who are refugees? Where are they coming from? Why do we sponsor refugees? We’ve compiled answers to some of these frequently asked questions below.

Who are refugees?

The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees defines a refugee as:

A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.

Where do refugees come from?

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, by the end of 2015, there were more than 65.3 million forced from their homes by war, conflict and persecution. Countries that have high numbers of refugees include Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and South Sudan. In 2015, there were 9.5 million refugees from these countries.

Why do we sponsor refugees?

As Christians we act in love and compassion, reflecting God’s love for us. God’s word directs us in ways of hospitality and shows us the source of strength and wisdom for every service we do in God’s name. Refugee sponsors act to “welcome the stranger.” In return, they have the privilege of developing new friendships and learning about a different way of life.

I’m ready to sponsor a refugee! How do I begin?

We’re delighted that you’re interested in sponsoring a refugee! To get started, review our list of frequently asked questions to learn about the refugee sponsorship process. Then contact us to begin the process. 

For more information about refugee sponsorship, contact the CLWR refugee sponsorship team:

Fikre Tsehai – Development Manager, Refugee Resettlement
Email | Phone: 604.540.9760

Jennifer Ardon – Project Officer, Refugee Resettlement & Community Relations
Email | Phone: 519.725.8777

Senait Biadgilign – Program Assistant, Refugee Resettlement & Community Relations
Email | Phone: 604.540.9760