“There’s a tremendous desire from people around the world to respond to this crisis. The Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative creates opportunities for citizens to engage with and participate in a humanitarian effort—for the benefit of refugees and for the benefit of the communities that they live in.”  


Gregory A. Maniatis, Director, International Migration Initiative, Open Society Foundations

What We Do

Many states and NGOs are interested in exploring the possibility of allowing citizens or other private entities to directly sponsor refugees. Anyone contemplating this kind of system can learn from Canada’s experience—not to replicate it, but to help define and design what will be effective in a local context. GRSI works to support people and organizations as they manage this process. Here’s how:

Training and public education

GRSI offers education about the principles and benefits of community-based sponsorship to a broad audience. It has also developed a practical Guidebook that breaks down the Canadian community-based sponsorship system into ‘building blocks’. These blocks are designed to offer local actors the tools they need to establish community-based sponsorship programs that will thrive in their own countries.

Community building

Developing a peer-to-peer global mentorship program that connects people around the world as they design, launch and manage community-based sponsorship programs.

Advisory services

Partnering local people with experienced advisors from other countries who can help them with the specifics of their programs, from policy writing to community mobilization and every detail in between.

Connecting networks

Introducing local partners that can collaborate to build capacity for new community-based sponsorship programs.


GRSI at work - community sponsorship in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is establishing a community-based sponsorship program. See how the people of Fishguard, Wales embraced the project—and the family they sponsored.

Learn more about community-based sponsorship