How are Sponsorship Groups Formed – The Instigator
Someone becomes sufficiently moved by the plight of refugees to do something about it. That someone, the catalyst or instigator, will talk to her/his circle of friends and acquaintances: family, friends, neighbours, work-mates, bridge group, community association, parish, etc.. to find others who are similarly moved and are prepared to do something meaningful about it ..and conclude that sponsoring a refugee family can be very meaningful both to the refugee family and to themselves.
Once the sponsorship group starts to take shape, there are a lot of resources to help it along its way. There are people who have already sponsored refugees who are only too pleased to share what they learned from their experience. There are counsellors, doctors, lawyers, translators… all eager to help.
Your group may need to assign responsibilities such as:
- Communication with the family
- Job Searching, and others
Through parish or organization
There are a number of advantages to a parish (or organization) based sponsorship group:
The group enjoys the moral and, to some extent, financial support of the larger parish community
Fundraising can become an enjoyable community building activity
Parish based groups tend to be large, which can present some challenges:
Large groups can be challenging to manage effectively and keep all members engaged.
More time can be spent controlling and managing group dynamics than focusing on the task at hand.
Groups tend to start off quite large, sometimes with 20 or more members and, over time, shrink to a handful of core members who do all the work.
With friends relatives and neighbours
These groups tend to be smaller, 10 to 12 being considered a good number. This presents some advantages:
Easier to manage, engage group members and hold them to their commitments
Choice of leader is easier and more self-evident
But, because they are smaller:
Fundraising can often be a challenge
and, being more tightly knit, replacing a departed member and making the new member feel included can be a challenge