Experience solidarity in your neighbourhood and change the life of resettled refugees!
What is Community Sponsorship?
In 2020, Belgium introduced its Community Sponsorship program as a reception model within the traditional resettlement program. A hosting group, consisting of volunteer citizens, together with a dedicated partner organization, supports resettled persons by organizing reception and accompanying them in the Belgian society for a year.
This community support kicks off at the first meeting with the resettled persons at the airport. Together with Fedasil staff and the partner organization, the hosting group welcomes them and guides them to their new home; a home that the hosting group ensured before the arrival.
"We wanted to welcome refugees and do something at our level. It’s just a single family. That’s probably only a drop in the ocean, but it's already something. It's better than nothing."
Irene, 67 y.o., member of a sponsor group
After arrival in Belgium, the resettled persons will experience an exciting, yet intense, period. The hosting group will support them in the steps they need to take: getting all the paperwork in order, enrolling the children in the local school, finding a job...
Want to know more? Take a look at our folder!
What is the added value of Community Sponsorship?
The integration process of the resettled persons is much more likely to succeed, thanks to the highly personalized support provided by the hosting group of volunteer citizens.
What we don’t know, we fear. Involving refugees in activities in your own community - and thus bringing them together with local citizens - therefore often has a positive impact on the refugee perception.
Community Sponsorship offers refugees eligible for international protection a legal and safe pathway to migration.
By involving experienced partner organizations in the program, a lot of expertise will be shared. This benefits the quality of refugee counselling.
"Here I go to school, I learn to ride a bike, I can go wherever I want, I don't lock myself up at home because I'm scared."
Nojoud, Syrian, 10 y.o., resettled refugee from Lebanon.
How to participate in Community Sponsorship?
As a hosting group:
First of all, you create a group of at least five committed people. Consequently you start the search for adequate housing for one year.
Before, during or after these steps, you contact the partner organization, Caritas International, who will stand by you throughout the entire process.
Experience with refugees is a nice-to have, but certainly not a requirement; a good level of motivation will definitely do the job.
Together with Caritas International, Fedasil will look for a match between your hosting group and a person or family to be resettled. Ultimately, Caritas International will prepare you extensively for the arrival.
As a partner organization:
If your organization would prefer to participate as a partner organization and would like to accompany hosting groups in receiving resettled persons, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. A Fedasil colleague will provide you with more information.
As a landlord:
Do you have a property available that you would like to rent out to resettled persons for at least one year, but would prefer not to create a hosting group yourself? No problem! It happens that hosting groups are already complete, but are still on the lookout for adequate accommodation. We kindly ask you to send an e-mail to email@example.com with information about the property - some photos, the rental price, the contract... - and the Fedasil team will then quickly schedule a meeting with you.
Do you want to know more about the partner organization?
As a hosting group, you are by no means left alone. Your hosting group can always count on a partner organization to support you every step of the way.
Want to know more about the partner organization? Take a look at their website!
Caritas International is a Belgian NGO that offers international solidarity to victims of violence, natural disasters and poverty. The organization has extensive experience in receiving and assisting migrants and refugees in Belgium and abroad. Caritas International offers information sessions in Dutch, French and English.