Sponsorship School – Mobilizing Sponsors: Maya’s Story
Learn how to take the first steps on a refugee sponsorship journey and how to connect with other potential sponsors.
Transcript: Sponsorship School – Mobilizing Sponsors: Maya’s Story
Video length: 4:11 minutes
The scene opens on a view of a public park area on a sunny summer day. Many people are visible in the park, doing various activities. Birds are seen flying past.
Text displays: “Sponsorship School – Mobilizing Sponsors: Maya’s Story”
Narrator: Community sponsorship of refugees is a rewarding experience, both for the newcomers rebuilding their lives in a new country, and the community members who sponsor them.
We see close-ups of people in the park having picnics with family and friends.
Narrator: When people like Maya come together to welcome and support newcomers, their entire community is richer for it.
A close-up shows a woman (Maya) sitting at a picnic table enjoying her lunch. We then see a wide-angle shot of the park scene again.
Narrator: Maya would like to help sponsor a refugee family but doesn’t know how to get started. But getting involved is easier than it seems.
We see Maya again, now looking at a news story on her phone. A view of her phone shows a news headline.
Text displays: “Refugees forced to flee”
Maya looks concerned. She then imagines herself and others welcoming a newcomer family, and smiles to herself at the prospect.
Narrator: Maya begins looking into the sponsorship process and learns that sponsoring a family is a group effort.
A new scene appears where Maya is shown thinking. Animated puzzle pieces come together. The assembled puzzle shows a newcomer family.
Narrator: She starts by asking friends and family, and learns that a colleague’s church group sponsored a Syrian family in Lebanon, and her brother-in-law’s rugby club is waiting to welcome a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo who had fled to Burundi 10 years ago.
The view pulls back to show a church group appear, and an illustration of a Syrian family superimposed on a map of Syria and Lebanon. The view shifts to a rugby club and an illustration of a family from the Democratic Republic of Congo superimposed on a map of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.
Narrator: Whatever their connection, people from all walks of life can come together and share resources to sponsor refugees.
The scene clears, leaving Maya alone, and various people representing various walks of life appear around her.
Narrator: To become more familiar with sponsorship, Maya starts by volunteering to raise money for clothes for newcomers…
A new scene appears, showing Maya selling baked goods. A sign is hanging behind her.
Text displays: “Church bake sale”
Narrator: … and joins the rugby club members in helping their sponsored family move furniture into their new apartment.
We see Maya and a couple of members from the rugby club unpacking and setting up an apartment.
Narrator: She learns that volunteering with an existing sponsor group is a great way to get started in the sponsorship journey!
We then see a newcomer family seeing their apartment for the first time, impressed and happy. Maya and the rugby club members happily look on from behind.
Narrator: Maya keeps in touch with other volunteers who have gone on to form their own groups, either as part of an organization, like a church, club or business, or simply with other community members.
Maya is seen surrounded by four other people in individual circles, with arrows flowing from Maya out to them.
Narrator: Maya hears about an upcoming information night for people who are interested in community sponsorship…
In a new scene, Maya spots a poster on a wall.
Text displays: “Sponsorship information night”
Narrator: … and spreads the word in person and on social media to friends and colleagues.
Maya uses her phone, and exclamation points appear in speech bubbles around her.
Narrator: Many sponsor groups use local news, word of mouth and social media to engage with the community. The best way to reach new sponsors is to meet them where they are!
We see three scenes: someone is speaking on camera to a reporter, someone is handing a flyer to someone else, and a third person is looking down as she texts on her phone.
Narrator: Maya attends the information night with friends and colleagues…
A new scene appears with Maya and her friends and colleagues attending an information night event.
Text displays: “Sponsorship information night”
Narrator: … and together they start the process of forming their own sponsorship group.
Maya and her friends and colleagues are shown leaving the building, looking triumphant and optimistic.
Narrator: As they start planning for their own sponsorship process, Maya’s sponsor group realizes that there are many different ways to assist newcomers with their integration into the community.
We see Maya and her sponsorship group around a silhouette of a newcomer family, with arrows travelling outward from the family to the sponsorship group members.
Narrator: Two group members have flexible schedules and are often free during the day, so they can accompany newcomers to medical, financial or other appointments.
We see two of the group members alongside icons representing health and dental care and a bank book.
Narrator: Another member speaks Arabic and offers to help interpret if necessary.
We then see another group member smiling as a speech bubble appears with text in Arabic and English.
Text displays: “I can help!”
Narrator: Each member of the group has life experiences that can be beneficial to sponsorship. Group members can draw on their networks to help find and furnish rental housing. Accountants and bookkeepers can help with budgeting.
We see Maya’s sponsor group together, then in silhouette, as icons appear around them representing home furnishing and a household budget list.
Text displays: “Budget: food, clothes, transit”
Narrator: Regular transit riders can help newcomers navigate the local transportation system. Group members with school-aged children can help with registration and various school activities.
We see additional icons representing a city bus and school books and a school registration form.
Text displays: “School registration”
Narrator: Maya’s sponsor group involves people from all walks of life applying their skills to create welcoming, safe, secure spaces for newcomers to thrive in their community.
Maya and the group are shown in bubbles surrounded by silhouettes of a community of people.
Narrator: Sponsors give their time, wisdom, experience and friendship, along with financial and material support.
We see Maya and her group with the newcomer family.
Narrator: Throughout her journey, Maya learns that sponsorship creates a strong bond that lasts for a lifetime.
We cut to three new scenes: parents seeing their child off to school on a school bus, a newcomer family speaking to their neighbour as the neighbour mows his lawn, and a newcomer helping an elderly woman across the street.
Narrator: Many sponsor groups maintain friendships and community bonds with newcomers well after the end of the formal sponsorship agreement.
A new scene appears showing Maya at the newcomers’ home, having coffee.
Narrator: Sponsoring refugees is a big commitment, but it’s one that many people are well equipped to do. There are many people, like Maya, who are driven by a commitment to social justice and a desire to support refugees.
Silhouettes of various people appear on screen. Maya appears in the middle of the screen as a silhouette and then is fully visible. We see arrows travelling outward from Maya.
Narrator: When reaching out to new sponsors, try to look beyond existing groups, leverage social networks to find new volunteers, and focus on the desire to warmly welcome newcomers to your community.
We see Maya’s sponsor group in a bubble surrounded by silhouettes of individuals and groups of people.
Narrator: Community sponsorship not only assists some of the most vulnerable members of our society. It also helps us all by building stronger, more welcoming and more cohesive communities.
We fade to a beautiful summer day, as the newcomer family appears on screen. They are then surrounded by Maya and the sponsors, looking at the family, happy and hopeful. The scene fades to a wide-angle view of the same park as the beginning of the video, and the view travels upward into the blue sky.
Text displays: “refugeesponsorship.org”
“Video developed in partnership with
- Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative
- Open Society Foundations
- UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency
- Giustra Foundation
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
- The Shapiro Foundation”
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature is shown, along with the copyright message, “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2021.”
The Canada wordmark appears.
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