What is Community Sponsorship?
Community Sponsorship is an umbrella term used for differing models of refugee resettlement that pair clients (refugees, SIVs, parolees, etc.) with community groups who are looking to provide clearly defined financial & in-kind donations, as well as volunteer resettlement services.
What is Co-Sponsorship?
Co-Sponsorship is just one form of community sponsorship. In this model, Co-Sponsors are specific community groups which exist within 100 miles of a local IRC office & help to assist clients as they start their lives in the United States, in a much more involved manner. Throughout their time with clients, volunteer efforts are overseen by local IRC offices to ensure that volunteers & clients are supported to their fullest potential.
In the upcoming months, IRC Virginia will again be expanding the ways in which community groups can be involved in the resettlement process, by opening up our Co-Sponsorship program. As a Co-Sponsor, community groups commit (in a non-legally binding agreement) to provide clearly defined financial & in-kind contributions, as well as to provide the majority of core services, for newly arriving refugee families. Throughout this process Co-Sponsors will be overseen by their local Resettlement Agency, to ensure that all community groups have the proper level of training & support to properly assist clients during their initial months in the community.
A community group that is interested in becoming a Co-Sponsor with IRC Virginia must agree to the following requirements in order to be considered:
- Each group member submits a volunteer application to IRC Virginia
- All team members have undergone background checks (including driving background checks) before working with IRC clients
- Group representatives sign a Co-Sponsorship agreement with IRC
- Co-Sponsors commit to raising $3000 total to support the client family whom they will be working with
- Community groups are required to collect donations for the household setup of client families, in line with federal resettlement requirements
- Co-Sponsors agree to a commitment of 6 months, in which they will be working with their clients to provide ongoing education, mentorship & client support.
To learn more about Co-Sponsorship opportunities with IRC Richmond, please contact Malaz Elamin, Community Sponsorship Coordinator, at: [email protected]
To learn more about Co-Sponsorship opportunities with IRC Charlottesville, please contact Jordan Dunathan, Community Sponsorship Coordinator, at: [email protected]