What is Community Sponsorship?

Looking for a way to support refugee families and make a difference in their lives? You’re in the right place!

Community Sponsorship is an umbrella term that describes different models of resettlement in which refugee clients are paired with community groups who provide in-kind contributions, financial contributions, and service delivery to support the welcome and integration of refugees in their new communities. This includes models such as private sponsorship through WelcomeCorps and sponsor circles as well as Co-Sponsorship. 

Before the Refugee Act of 1980 standardized refugee resettlement, through the use of resettlement agencies such as the International Rescue Committee, resettlement was largely conducted privately or through community groups. With the recent increase in refugees and enthusiasm of local community groups wanting to partner to resettle refugees, IRC has committed to integrating community sponsorship programming. 

What is Co-Sponsorship? 

Co-Sponsorship is just one form of community sponsorship. In this model, Co-Sponsors are community groups located within Pima County that assist IRC clients as they begin their lives in the United States. IRC will match and pair newly arriving refugee families with groups based on skills and interests.

Throughout six months, Co-Sponsor volunteer efforts are overseen by Tucson IRC to ensure that volunteers and clients are supported to their fullest potential during their initial months of resettlement. Co-Sponsor groups enhance the quality of life for displaced individuals and families by supporting the transition to their new home and ensuring integration into the local community.

Perks of being a Co-Sponsor: 

Volunteer hours through Co-Sponsorship look great on a college or work application and show a commitment to gain a set of skills in leadership, problem solving, and time-management. Co-Sponsorship can also help provide you with a sense of purpose, grow your social and language skills, and enhance your sense of community while giving back. 

From Afghanistan to Arizona: A Story of Co-Sponsorship and Empowerment

The video was produced by Beth Cohen and Zakia A. Zakia is an Afghan scholar, artist, and computer science student who is part of this remarkable story.

How Do I Become a Co-Sponsor?

First Steps 

Next Steps


For more information about Co-Sponsorship or to get started with IRC Tucson please contact our Community Sponsorship Coordinator, Morgan Bell, at: [email protected] | 602-815-7761

Jacqueline (center) shares a Congolese meal with her friends.
Jacqueline (center) shares a Congolese meal with her friends, Chris Johnson, 65, Jenny Hirst, 55, Janna Brown, 29, and Charlie, 16. Jacqueline Uwumeremyi, 43, fled the Democratic Republic of Congo to South Africa in 1998 because of escalating violence.
Photo: Andrew Oberstadt for the IRC