Justice & Peace attended the European Refugee Sponsorship Convention
Photo credits: Share Network
Exploring the impact of community-led initiatives
Seven years after their initial launch in Europe, community sponsorship initiatives have shown remarkable success in enabling refugees to rebuild their lives and find a sense of belonging in new communities. The European Refugee Sponsorship Convention, which was held last week in Brussels with over 150 participants from across Europe, showcased the power of community solidarity in shaping and improving the welcoming of refugees.
Experts on the field, refugees, non-governmental and institutional actors, and local and regional authorities gathered and discussed the potential of community sponsorship to empower refugees by giving them agency and control over their own resettlement. Our Samen Hier team was also there to represent our initiative of the first Dutch community sponsorship implementation and to exchange with the network.
Overall, the convention was a significant step forward in promoting and developing community sponsorship as a viable solution for refugee resettlement in Europe.
What is community sponsorship?
Community sponsorship is a powerful approach to refugee resettlement that is progressively gaining momentum. By giving citizens the opportunity to take the lead in shaping refugee policy, community sponsorship ensures that refugees feel welcomed and supported from day one. Through our initiative, Samen Hier, we have seen first-hand how community sponsorship strengthens social cohesion, accelerates integration, and increases residents’ involvement in the reception of refugees in their own communities. As such, we believe that community sponsorship is a win-win for everyone involved, and we encourage more people to get involved.
The event was organised by the Share Quality Sponsorship Network in conjunction with: ICMC Europe, Caritas International, DiCV Cologne, the Basque Government, the Fédération de l’Entraide Protestante, the Irish Refugee Council, Caritas Italy/Consorzio Communitas and Citizens UK.