VOLUNTEERS

WE NEED YOUR
HELP

PRIVATE SPONSORS

It's one of the most rewarding experiences you can do, something that will change both you and the world you live in - joining a settlement team to sponsor a refugee to come to Canada. That means a team of five to seven ordinary or extraordinary people living in the same city is responsible for the refugee’s settlement. They provide emotional and social support during the refugee’s first year of life in Canada.

Duration:
You can fill in the required sponsor forms and scans in just a few hours. Getting to know your sponsor team and dividing up settlement duties may take a few hours more than that. But it often feels more like social time than work.

Technical requirements:
Access to a printer and scanner for the sponsor documents. A car is helpful when the refugee arrives, though certainly not necessary.

Commitment:
1.5 years or so of waiting for the refugee to arrive, then the first year of their settlement in Canada.

Ability to commit to the first year of settlement, and to a friendship that may last a lifetime.

Interested? Drop us an email!

TEACHERS AND TUTORS

A strong grasp of English is a huge benefit for those heading to Canada through our sponsorship program. It's so important when it comes to finding school and work, for social interactions and a feeling of belonging. This should be an exciting project for anyone looking to make a big difference in the life of a deserving person.

Commitment:
1 hour a week - or more, if you have time.

Duration:
3 months, can be extended (refugees take 1.5 to 2 years to arrive after applying).

Technical requirements:
WhatsApp or Facebook messenger is all you need. Video calls are great when bandwidth allows.

Skills and talents:
You don't have to be an amazing teacher. Just getting the person to talk about their day is a win - conversation is the goal. If you want to add actual lessons into the mix, go for it!

Interested? Drop us an email!

APPLICATION WRITERS

Humanitarian Research and Writing Volunteer

If you have a desire to make an immeasurable difference in someone’s life, this is the volunteer opportunity for you.

Northern Lights Canada, a non-profit that helps refugees from around the world find a safe life in Canada through the government’s Private Refugee Sponsorship Program, is seeking volunteers to work one-on-one with refugees to complete their application for sponsorship. These are refugees who have already secured a sponsor group and the funding needed to qualify for the program, and a solid application is the final step.

A strong application is important to secure admission into the private sponsorship program, and our research and writing volunteers create the first draft. That means helping refugees gather documentation, communicating over WhatsApp or other social media platforms to write a case narrative, and using Adobe Acrobat to fill in the forms. Once the first draft is complete, we will add the finishing touches and submit the application for government review.

Why is this position so important?

Your contribution will infuse a world of hope into someone’s life! The refugees we work with have been waiting—sometimes for years—to secure a safe and productive life in Canada. And while it’s good news that we have so many people qualified to apply, it’s also frustrating because we don’t have the bandwidth to keep the process moving quickly. Our friends are so close to the life they deserve, and we want to speed it up to make it happen! That’s where you come in.

Commitment:
15 hours, on average, to do round 1 of the application.

Duration:
1-3 weeks, depending on the ease or intricacy of the case, and your availability.

Technical requirements:
A desktop version of Adobe Reader, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

Skills and talents:
Attention to detail, the thoughtful and confidential handling of difficult information, and sensitivity to the effects of trauma.

Interested? Send an email to Stephen Watt: stephen_watt@hotmail.com.

PROFILE WRITERS

Tell a story, build a future

There are many good and deserving refugees out there, who deserve a new life in a country like Canada. So why do some succeed in making it here, while others languish indefinitely?

The answer: they found a way to tell their story that won over hearts and inspired people to care.

Why is this position so important?

'Storytelling is probably the most underrated part of the private sponsorship program. A well-told story can win over sponsors and cause money to flow into crowdfunding campaigns. The narrative, as it's called, is also the first step and most important part of the refugee application.

So there's a lot at stake. And if you know how to write a story, in a way that's clear and compelling - with just enough detail to win hearts, but not so much as to cause eyes to close - your talents are needed!

Commitment:
6 hours of editing, depending on the writing skill of the refugee who drafts version 1 of the narrative

Duration:
1-3 weeks, since once the online profile is done, you may need a slightly different version for GoFundMe (with a shorter story, and addition of information about the money and how it will be used)

Technical requirements:
Facebook messenger or WhatsApp to talk to the refugee, MS Word (typically) to write and edit the narrative

Skills and talents:
Toughtful and confidential handling of difficult information, and sensitivity to the effects of trauma. The ability to follow guidelines, and tell a story in a way that's both concise and compelling as possible.

Interested? Send an email to Stephen Watt: stephen_watt@hotmail.com.

ORGANIZERS

For much of its history, Northern Lights Canada has been a grassroots effort, consisting of volunteers who have joined together for the common cause of bringing deserving refugees to this country, and helping them flourish when they arrive. The network has grown without a formal structure or leadership, extending our reach and gaining fresh energy with each new addition to our network.

Now it is time to take the next step. Becoming a not-for-profit brings a host of benefits, including a greater say at the table when it comes to connecting with other organizations and advocating for change at all levels of power. And the next step - becoming a Sponsorship Agreement Holder - means we could start sponsoring refugees ourselves, even if they lack formal refugee credentials. It's a stamp of legitimacy that carries great weight with Canadian immigration.

We know the many of the steps involved to achieve each organizational milestone. What we need is someone with the time, patience and attention to detail to help us achieve each milestone.

Commitment:
1 month of help to become a not-for-profit. Another 2-3 months of help in a year from now, when it comes to applying for SAH status.

Technical requirements:
Good written English, ability to write convincing letters and detailed documents..

Interested? Drop us an email!

FUNDRAISERS

By helping bring refugees to Canada through the Canadian private sponsorship program, you are literally saving lives and changing the world. YOU are stepping away from the status quo, defying normal, and basically are now one of the coolest people ever. Fundraising is hard work, but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s an opportunity to be creative, have new experiences and make new connections.

Commitment:
Helping to raise $16,500 for each individual coming to Canada. Or half that for each extra member of the family.

Duration:
As long as it takes to raise the funds. It usually goes much faster with a team, and the refugee may know some friends and funders to help cross the finish line faster.

Technical requirements:
A facility with GoFundMe, Facebook, Chuffed, Fundrazer or one of the other fundraising platforms.

Skills and talents:
A social network. and the ability to tell a story and get others interested definitely helps.

Interested? Drop us an email!