UK Welcomes Refugees will join an international gathering of refugee agencies and resettlement organisations in Lisbon organised by the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) and Amnesty International.
The Gathering will explore key developments in sponsorship and community welcome over the past year. As a growing resettlement strategy that is being adopted by more and more countries that see the value of the role civil society can play in supporting refugees, the gathering will take stock of progress that has been made as well as look at the opportunities ahead for the expansion and diversification of sponsorship.
One important area for discussion will be ‘Named Sponsorship’ which is currently powering the welcome and resettlement of sponsored refugees in Canada. This is where a small group of citizens can actual name a refugee or their family that they would like to bring through the sponsorship scheme. Named Sponsorship can be a driver of both scale and diversity in sponsorship and is becoming a feature of sponsorship initiatives in several other countries.
The gathering will also be an opportunity to learn and appreciate the initiatives that are being developed throughout the world to assist in the resettlement process. One key issue on the table will be the burn-out, exhaustion, and trauma that can impact everyone involved in sponsorship, particularly for refugees themselves. Another area that light needs to be shone is the relationship between NGO’s and governments at international, national, regional and local levels. How Community Sponsorship can contribute to effective partnership and collaboration between civil society organisations and government are critical to the success of community sponsorship initiatives.
Finally, the gathering is an opportunity to meet and network with others who share the same values and commitments to refugees. Being amongst friend and colleagues should help recharge the energy and focus needed to work together to grow and develop further this important area of refugee resettlement work. UK Welcomes Refugees will take the opportunity to share the learning from the Global Gathering with our network of UK organisations that we are part of.