IRCC Message to SPOs + ReSpo Survey - Refugee Sponsorship Ecoystems + Your Mental Health and Wellbeing Video

Message from SAISIA Executive Director
December 3, 2020 | Communications Chair

Hi Everyone,

I hope you all are keeping well in the midst of the uncertainty during this second wave of COVID. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to myself, or anyone on the SAISIA team if we can be of support in anyway to you or your organization during this challenging time. Our collective resilience and support for one another will ultimately carry us forward.


There are a few items I would like to share with you this afternoon :

  • IRCC Message to Service Providing Organizations
    • In case you did not receive the email from Laura Di Paolo – Director General for IRCC, please see the following :
      • As COVID19 continues to affect our communities and some areas of Canada are seeing new restrictions imposed, you may have questions about service delivery. We are writing as a reminder to please follow guidance from your local health authority in these uncertain times.

As you know, Canada continues to provide protection through our refugee programs. We recommend maintaining alternative service delivery options wherever possible, recognizing some in-person services to our most vulnerable clients may be necessary. IRCC remains committed to manage the financial impacts on the Sector and we would like to reiterate that there will not be any financial penalties for organizations following IRCC COVID-19 guidance or for following recommendations received from your local health authorities. For Resettlement Assistance Program Service Provider Organizations, we ask you look closely at the capacity tool and ensure it is kept current.

Thank you for your support and the commitment you provide to newcomers who need our help more than ever. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the resumption of in-person services, please check our website (link below) or contact your program officer.

https://canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/settlement-resettlement-providers.html”’

      • Also, attached is a compilation of documents(In both French and English) related to Delivery of Critical Services to GARs during COVID-19 Pandemic and COVID-19 Pandemic Health and Safety Readiness Checklist.

  • ReSpo Survey Invitation – Refugee613 - the deadline to complete the survey is December 7th, 2020.
    • Refugee613 aims to better understand what ‘sponsor the stranger’ looks like in Canada and is wanting to learn more about the sponsorship ecosystem as a whole. This survey is geared towards Sponsorship Agreement Holders, Settlement Providing Organizations and Repeat Sponsorship Groups
    • This survey is part of a larger project called ReSpo - Reviewing and Renewing Refugee Sponsorship. The goal is to deepen our collective understanding of the ‘sponsor-the-stranger’ sponsorship ecosystem, develop sponsor mobilization strategies, tools, and resources, and suggest promising practices necessary to build foundations for the long term sustainable growth of the BVOR program.
    • Please visit the following link to understand more about the scope of the project and to fill out the survey :

  • Your Mental Health and Wellbeing – IRCC Developed video on the importance of newcomer mental health
    • Titled Your Mental Health and Well-being, the video complements existing resources in the health and settlement sectors and aims to reduce the stigma around discussing mental health. It provides newcomers with an overview of mental health, including some common symptoms of emotional struggles, identifies some activities that can contribute to positive mental health, and encourages newcomers to seek help from a variety of sources, including settlement service providers
    • Please share this video with your staff, clients, networks and social media channels.
    • The video is currently available in French and English, and there are plans to translate into additional languages in the near future

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns with any of these items

Thanks and take care

Ahmad Majid

Executive Director | SAISIA

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