In August 2021, the government promised to settle 40,000 Afghan refugees in Canada. That promise has turned out to be hard to keep. (Here is our take on why the process has been so slow.)
At OCRA, our approach has been to do what we can to identify and sponsor Afghans who have fled since the Taliban takeover and seek to sponsor them to come to Canada. This involves preparing and submitting detailed sponsorship and refugee determination applications and raising funds to support the sponsored refugees for the first year after their arrival. We support them by finding housing, transport, medical care, employment and, importantly, committed friendship to ease adjustment to life in a new country.
We are seeking to move ahead with seven Afghan sponsorships!
- a family of five, now in Pakistan. The father is a law professor and former government official. The daughters in the family were active in organizing women’s opposition to the Taliban.
- a 22-year-old man, now in India. He is a civil engineer and was threatened for his work with an agency that supported women’s education and medical assistance in LGBTQ neighborhoods.
- a single woman, age 19, now in Iran. She was entering university when the Taliban took over. She fled with her family because her father, a lawyer, was counsel to the UN and UN contractors. With OCRA’s help this sponsorship was organized and funded by a group of young people in Ottawa, themselves former refugees.
- a family of four, now in Pakistan. The parents are both young doctors who worked in women’s reproductive health in Afghanistan. Their clinics were bombed, and the father was shot after the Taliban takeover.
- a single woman doctor, now in Pakistan. This young woman’s life has been threatened many times and she has barely escaped attempts to kill her. She was prohibited from practicing medicine by the Taliban.
- a Hazara family of three, now in Pakistan who continue to live in fear of the Taliban due to their previous occupations. We are working with an Australian group to help get this family to Canada.
- the parents of the doctors above, now in Pakistan. The father, a civil engineer who worked with UNOPS faced serious threats in Afghanistan.
We are currently raising funds for these sponsorships. If you can help, please consider making a donation.