Panel: How are we doing? Refugee Private Sponsorship in Canada

Refugee Family


This session is designed for persons who are interested in the private sponsorship of refugees. It is open to students, faculty, volunteers, community workers, and the general public. The panelists will talk about the current private sponsorship program, the work of the Sponsorship Agreement Holder Council, Canadian Council for Refugees and the international attention that the program is receiving. The panel will also highlight the WUSC program to sponsor refugee students and the Journey Home Community Association’s program to sponsor refugee claimants.

Date: Monday, October 16th
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Global Lounge, UBC,  2205 Lower Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T
Free and open to the public. Please RSVP on EventBrite.
Light dinner offered by Tayybeh: A Celebration of Syrian Cuisine


Sabine Lehr, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria
Bio: Dr. Sabine Lehr is private sponsorship of refugees manager with the Inter-Cultural Association (ICA) of Greater Victoria. Sabine is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Canadian Council for Refugees (Canadian ATCR focal point) and Vice-Chair of the board of the Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Agreement Holders Association. Her related work includes: Lead of the Canadian NGO delegation to the Annual Tripartite Consultations on Resettlement 2017; Speaker and facilitator for a half-day session on complementary pathways to protection, including through private/community sponsorship, at the UNHCR-NGO Consultations 2017; Canadian NGO representative for a Europe-wide webinar on complementary pathways of refugee admission to Europe, organized by the European Resettlement Network+, aimed at mapping and informing on emerging private sponsorship programmes of refugees in Europe. Sabine holds a Master of Business Administration degree in international management from the University of London, Royal Holloway; a PhD in Educational Studies from the University of Victoria; and a Postgraduate Certificate in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from York University.


James Grunau, Journey Home Community Association
Bio: With a Bible College and Seminary education, James worked in two different church ministries before moving to Canada’s West Coast in the mid 1980s.  Here he detoured into the business world where he spent 20 years in the home renovation business, serving as manager in various departments and finally as general manager of the company.  Feeling his heart moving him in a different direction, he helped found Journey Home Community in 2005, an initiative of his church home group in its outreach to newly arriving asylum seeker families.  He serves as Executive Director of Journey Home Community Association and is a member of the leadership team of the Refugee Highway Partnership, North American Region.


Rhoda Phillip, World University Service of Canada (WUSC)
Rhoda Philip moved to Canada in 2013 from Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya to study at the University of British Columbia, thanks to the World University Services of Canada- Student Refugee Program (WUSC-SRP). Her experiences from being raised in a refugee camp taught her the value of resilience, adaptability, and compassion. She believes that when tragedy befalls human beings, and instill a feeling of victimhood, it can be challenging to overcome. Her passion lies in supporting people who have been through difficult life experiences. She champions education for refugee children, and is a founding member of an education initiative called Sponsor a Child Education (SCE). Despite her being a full-time student, Rhoda has been passionately involved in student governments, and numerous community initiatives. She envisions a world where everyone feels valuable.


This event is part of After the Flight: Community-University Refugee & Migration Symposium hosted by AMSSA, MOSAIC, ISSofBC, Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture (VAST), the Vancouver Immigration Partnership, UBC Community Engagement, UBC Liu Institute for Global Issues and the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC International Student Development, the UBC Graduate Student Migration Network, and the UBC Equity and Inclusion Office.

Find more details on symposium events between October 11 – October 19, 2017 here.

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