Co-sponsorship

Refugee co-sponsorship gives congregations and community groups the opportunity to welcome a refugee family to Minnesota.  Co-sponsors assist new refugee families for their first four months in the US and help them on the path to self-sufficiency through a supportive partnership with MCC Refugee Services. By offering support to refugees, congregations live out God’s call to welcome the stranger, and help transform a refugee’s new country into a new home. The two videos are a great way to learn more about this opportunity.

Church Co-Sponsorship, Episcopal Migration Ministries

EMM — Austin Co-sponsorship from Episcopal Migration Ministries on Vimeo.

A Future with Hope, Church World Service

What is involved in co-sponsorship?
Congregations and community groups work with Refugee Services staff to help refugees get to crucial resources and learn their way around their new community.  This process might include:
- Gathering essential furnishings and helping set up the family’s apartment
- Welcoming the refugee family at the airport
- Providing transportation to initial appointments
- Assisting with school and English class registration
- Helping refugees learn their way around their new neighborhood
- Teaching the family about important local resources like libraries, parks and clinics
The most important responsibility of a co-sponsoring congregation is to help new arrivals move towards self-sufficiency.

Who can participate?
Congregational co-sponsorship utilizes the unique gifts, talents and resources of an entire faith community, and is steered by the efforts of a committed group within the congregation. A co-sponsorship committee is led by a coordinator, and individual members focus on furnishings, school, employment, transportation, and hospitality. The core co-sponsorship team can range from 6-12 people. Congregations are asked to make a commitment for a 4 month period. 

How are congregations supported in this work?
Congregations interested in refugee co-sponsorship begin by meeting with a Refugee Services staff member. Through a series of meetings, Refugee Services will help the congregation organize a co-sponsorship team, provide information about the needs and culture of the refugee family, and inform the team of the family’s arrival. Refugee Services matches a congregation with a refugee family overseas after assessing the team’s needs and capabilities.

Once the refugees arrive, the co-sponsorship team works closely with a Refugee Services Resource Coordinator and the family’s caseworker, who serve as resources and guides through the resettlement process through weekly phone calls and monthly meetings.

Who do I contact to find out more?
rsvolunteers@mnchurches.org or 612-230-3219

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