The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (CRSI), formed in 2018 (http://www.ausrefugeesponsorship.com.au/) is identifying community groups all around Australia to prepare for the introduction of a future community sponsorship program in Australia, which we hope the federal government will launch soon.
Under the future sponsorship program each group will provide practical support to a refugee or refugee family for their first year in Australia. The sponsor groups help the refugees practise their English, get work, settle into school, and learn how to deal with Canberra winters, magpie swooping season, Vegemite, and all the other challenges and delights of Australian life.
The sponsorship group also supports the refugees financially for their first year, paying for expenses like airfares and visa fees, as well as living expenses until the refugees are financially independent. That costs up to $50,000 per family, depending on their specific needs. The program that CRSI is advocating for has not yet been introduced by the federal government, but we are hopeful that this will happen once the government completes its 2020/21 review into the current refugee sponsorship program (which has been widely recognised as seriously flawed). In the event that a suitable new sponsorship program is not introduced by the federal government in 2021/22, or if our group is not able to sponsor a refugee under this program, funds from this fundraiser will be donated to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support UNHCR's work with refugees around the world.
The review is now complete, and CRSI has become Community Refugee Sponsorship Australia (incorporated). Our core group of 6 adults has grown to 10 adults and four kids and we have mentored two families. The Mentorship Program has been extended, so we're about to be matched to a third family.
Here is a new video about Community Refugee Sponsorship in Australia, featuring several groups from around Australia:
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- Mier Chan
- Kaz Ely
- Karen McLoughlin
- Kathryn Gossow
Fundraising team: Castle of Kindness Refugee Sponsorship Group (3)
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