In February 2017, MOSAIC was granted official status as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), allowing the organization to sponsor refugees ourselves, or work with others in the community to bring in refugees.
For the initial sponsorship, SAHs are traditionally capped at bringing in six refugees for the year, and on June 8, the paperwork was signed to bring in a Yazidi family of six from Turkey.
Although Sponsorship Agreement Holders are responsible for the emotional and financial support to the refugees being brought into Canada for the full sponsorship period (generally one year) the financial and/or emotional support can be contributed to by partners or constituency groups.
The partners working with MOSAIC in bringing in the organization’s first sponsored family are providing 100% of the funds for the Yazidi family’s first-year needs. Rob and Diane Milne have been working with MOSAIC since the start of 2016 and they have solely sponsored two other Syrian refugee families to Canada, with the first family having arrived just days ago.
Rob Milne, a local businessman, said that working with his friend and business partner for 35 years – an immigrant from India – led him to appreciate how newcomers contribute to Canada. He admires and respects the immigrant work ethic and attributes some of his own success to the hard work of the immigrants on his staff. “We like to give back to our community and immigration is a big part of Canada’s success to date. Organizations like MOSAIC do all the heavy lifting – ours is the easy part and helps make for a more robust Canada. We’ll do what we can to do our part”.
In February 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced that Canada will become a safe haven for 1,200 Yazidis this year. The Yazidi population is a persecuted group considered to be among the most vulnerable refugees in the world.
Upon signing the documents with Rob Milne, MOSAIC’s Executive Director Eyob Naizghi said “thank you for supporting those who cannot support themselves”.
To learn more about our work with refugees, please visit mosaicbc.org/refugees.