With 2 million Syrian people living on refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon and hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees risking their lives to make their way to Europe you wouldn’t think that it would be hard to find one Syrian Refugee family to sponsor, but it is.
We first approached the Quebec government but didn’t get that much help from there to begin with. We also reached out to some of our client contracts – most weren’t able to directly help us find a family but they certainly helped out with pointing us in a useful direction.
Eventually after a few weeks of hassling the Quebec government we started to get somewhere. Probably the election of the new Liberal Government on October 19th also helped to speed things up with their commitment to significantly increase the number of refuges that Canada would take.
The Quebec advisor told us that they now had a list of families who could be sponsored but they couldn’t share that with us. Instead they said they would send it to the 5 approved refugee sponsorship agencies in Quebec and that we would need to approach them direct.
We got on the phone and called them all up that day and were able to set up a meeting for the first one a couple of days later. The most helpful and the one which first returned our call was the one run by the Jesuits. We had a great first meeting with the representatives from there – we quickly established that we don’t care a jot what religion the family is or isn’t and they let us know that there should be no problem finding a family to sponsor. All the families that they have on their list are in refugee camps in Lebanon and all have already been approved by the Government.
However despite this it could still take between 4 – 6 months for us to arrange for them to get to Canada which again seems way too long considering that there is now a commitment from the Canadian Government to allow at least 25,000 in by the end of the year.
They are going to send the paperwork over we need to fill out but after that we should be good to go and they think they will have a family for us to sponsor very quickly after that.