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A Leading Role

MOSAIC has played a leading role for refugee support and re-settlement since its inception in 1976. The organization was founded by a group of volunteers who came from immigrant and refugee background. Throughout the years, MOSAIC served refugees from diverse communities who came to Canada from all continents. MOSAIC programs and services continues to be responsive to the emerging needs of various refugees groups such as refugee claimants, convention refugees and protected persons, government assisted refugees, privately sponsored refugees, Blended Visa Office Referred Refugees and other stateless persons.

MOSAIC has also played a leading role for Syrian refugee re-settlement in Metro Vancouver. Even before the federal government announced that Canada would welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016, MOSAIC had announced its preparedness to provide support for 1,000 displaced persons.

Sponsor Agreement Holder

In February 2017, MOSAIC was granted official status as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), which allows the organization to work with others in the community to sponsor refugees, or to directly sponsor refugees ourselves.

For the initial sponsorship, MOSAIC’s allocation is 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. Which means that MOSAIC has reached its limit for year 2017.

In 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will let SAHs know about their allocations for the year. As soon as MOSAIC is informed of its allocations, intake guidelines will be posted on MOSAIC website. At this moment, MOSAIC is not considering any refugee sponsorship requests.

Refugees Need Your Help

You can play a crucial role in helping MOSAIC’s refugee settlement support services. Through your donations and support, you can directly impact the lives of refugees arriving to Canada and help reunify families who are trying to bring family members from refugee camps into Canada.

How You Can Help

If you are interested in any of the above, contact us to learn more about how you can directly help refugees abroad and in Canada.

Current Refugee Programs and Services

In addition to our extensive services, MOSAIC currently offers the following specific services to support the re-settlement of refugees:

  • Welcoming Privately Sponsored Refugees at the Airport
  • Providing orientation to community and to life in Canada
  • Providing refurbished computers to refugee families, in partnership with BC Technology for Learning Society
  • Assistance to apply for government benefits and services
  • Providing training to private sponsors
  • Organizing Networking Sessions for Private Sponsors and Individuals interested in working/supporting refugees
  • Providing language support to private sponsors
  • Assisting refugees overseas who are identified by Private Sponsorship Group by completing applications and forms

In recognition of our impactful work with refugees, and our extensive outreach and long-standing relationships with community agencies and resource groups, the Province of British Columbia awarded the Refugee Response Team contract for Metro Vancouver to MOSAIC.  Since spring 2016, the organization has been coordinating and facilitating activities and communications between the health, education, employment and language training sectors, and community groups which will be assisting with refugee re-settlement in the Metro Vancouver area.

For more information, please visit: metrovanrrt.ca.

Important work with this community includes assisting Syrian families and refugees already living in Metro Vancouver with their efforts to sponsor and thereby reunite with family members who are still in refugee camps.  To date, we have matched 34 family files with private sponsors, but we have an additional 786 refugees on our list, waiting to be matched with private sponsors.

In 2016, we are averaging approximately two presentations per week to private sponsorship groups, faith groups and the public about supporting refugees and sponsorships.  Major sponsorship groups and support organizations we are collaborating with include: The United Church of Canada, Beth Israel Synagogue, Humanity4Syrians, Canadian Lutheran World Relief, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, the BC Muslim Association, Islamic Society of BC, and the Muslim Food Bank.

  • MOSAIC has hired additional staff to assist with the re-settlement of the Syrians, and now has Arabic-speaking staff at all locations within Metro Vancouver, including our  new location in Surrey.
  • We are partnering with the BC Alliance for Manufacturing to provide a training and employment program that results in employment opportunities for 40 refugees.
  • MOSAIC is working directly with employers to hire Syrian refugees  and with refugees to help them find jobs
  • MOSAIC has begun establishing a refugee family program that takes a holistic approach to settling entire families.  This program is already hosting conversation circles for men and women to improve English- language skills and learn about Canadian culture, while providing child-minding for young children.  Information workshops, youth group activities, and one-on-one needs assessments will soon be added to this program.
  • In addition to the initiatives listed above, MOSAIC will continue to work with other immigrant serving organizations in B.C., health authorities, the relevant federal and provincial ministries, legal professionals, municipalities and community hubs to coordinate our collective efforts.
  • MOSAIC remains committed to continuing to assist refugees with translation and interpretation, and filling out of applications and forms.
Delivering a wide array of programs and services for newcomers, MOSAIC is proud of its long-established expertise in working with refugees, and operates multiple programs and services for this cohort. In addition to one-on-one case-managed settlement and employment support, the organization’s Moving Ahead Program works intensively with refugee youth and adults who require extensive settlement assistance, while the Burnaby-based Family Centre is dedicated to providing parenting support for refugee families.

The federally-funded “Moving Ahead Program” is based on the MOSAIC-operated pilot “Step Ahead Program,” which was cited as a “Best Practice” by the former Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and which agencies across Canada may now adopt and use.

Our newest program, the Surrey Project for Refugee Families offers informational workshops on a wide variety of settlement-related topics, language assistance and support services. Adults, youth and children are all welcome.

What can newcomers expect when they first arrive in Canada?

The Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has released a video in 2013 for newcomers detailing what they can expect, and how to get settlement information and assistance after landing in Canada.