At this time, our sponsorship quotas and future commitments are full. We, regretfully, cannot accept further email requests for sponsorship at this time.
We encourage you to seek out help from other Canadian churches and organizations who are “Sponsorship Agreement Holders” in British Columbia and who may be in a position to sponsor you. Here is a link to these organizations.

Who We Are

The United Church of Canada (UCC)

UCC started its refugee journey in 1979 when it signed its first Sponsorship Agreement, stating: “When we help protect one refugee from persecution, death, or wasted years in a refugee camp, we save the world for that one person – and just maybe for ourselves too.”

West Vancouver United Church (WVUC)

Our mission is to help refugees begin a new life in Canada, and by doing so we are answering the call of Matthew 25:35 to help a stranger.

Who we are helping now

Due to concerns for the personal safety of family members, we will not publish photos or names at this time.

On our Waiting List

This is a Hazara family of 5 people who left Afghanistan in 2019 due to persecution of their sect by the Taliban.

They are two parents with two sons in their early 20's and one daughter of 14 years who have been in a refugee camp in Turkey waiting for papers for 3 years.

There are also 2 sisters who have arrived in Canada already on scholarships and student visas to our universities. We are hoping they may get their approval to arrive early in 2023

This family of six, including three teenaged children, fled the violence of the war in Syria in 2015 in order to seek safety and prevent the conscription of their son into the conflict. They had been eking out an existence in Darashakran camp in Erbil, Iraq, thanks to money provided by the father’s job as a carpenter until he became unable to work. He was diagnosed with a serious health condition requiring extensive medical attention. The loss of the income from their sole bread winner caused severe psychological and financial issues for the family because the father’s job did not have health or employment insurance. This resulted in the son having to quit Grade 9 to work to support his parents and siblings and to try to pay for his father’s medical expenses. The situation became even more complex when the son suffered a broken leg from a hit and run accident as he was on his way to work. The son is facing a long road to recovery and the father’s health is deteriorating.

The family is facing an uncertain and hopeless future where they are and they desperately wish to come to Canada where they will be able to create a new life in a stable environment with access to schools, hospitals, and economic opportunities. Several members of their extended family have already settled here and will assist them in their transition and adjustment to living in a new country and culture.
This family of 4 (husband, wife, and two young daughters) fled from Syria and live as refugees in Iraq. The husband has been there since 2013 and his wife has been there since 2019. Life is very difficult for them there. They rent a small house. They want to move to the camps because it is difficult to pay rent and there is no work every day. They have registered in the camp but there is no place. There is no work, and no future for the children, and they are looking for a better life.

What it Takes - Ways You Can Help


The United Church of Canada provides guidelines for creating a budget to sponsor families. We have found that the guidelines are the minimum requirements. Often the cost of living is higher. Our experience and calculations show that it costs a minimum of $65,000 to support a family of four for one year and $90,000 for a family of five. The biggest cost (and ever-increasing) is usually rent.

All funds raised go directly to funding a family’s first year in Canada. All the work to help families get settled is done by volunteers, and so there are no administration costs.


Click here to make a gift online. You'll be taken to a separate page. Simply choose “Refugee Sponsorship Fund” in the drop-down menu when making your gift.
  1. Make your cheque payable to West Vancouver United Church;
  2. On the memo line, indicate “Refugee Sponsorship Fund”;
  3. Mail your cheque to:

West Vancouver United Church
2062 Esquimalt Avenue
West Vancouver, BC
V7V 1S4


Volunteering on our Refugee Sponsorship Team won’t cost you a dime, but it will provide a meaningful and rewarding way for you to contribute to a cause you believe in.

Our team meets as needed, depending on the status of the application process.

We share the following duties:

  • Review refugee family applications to the church - once the family have been approved by us for sponsorship, help prepare various government documents required for their immigration to Canada;
  • Find rental accommodations - and/or help source furnishings to outfit the household;
  • Welcome the family on their arrival and help them set up their new home;
  • Follow up with the family on a regular basis to ensure a smooth transition to their new life;
  • Assist with access to social services, health care and banking arrangements;
  • Find schools for the children and liaise with the educational authorities to enrol them;
  • Spend time with the families - help them improve their English and to assimilate into their new community life.
Do you have a talent or skill you could share that will help these families?  The opportunities are endless and only limited by your imagination!

  • Are you a health care professional? Refugees often need dental care, physiotherapy, chiropractic therapy, massage therapy and other health care services.  If you are willing to donate your services or provide them at a reduced price, then we would love to talk to you!
  • Are you a teacher?  You could spend time with the children or parents helping them learn or improve their English.  Or tutor the children in subjects they are struggling with at school.
  • Do you absolutely love to fundraise?  Help us strategize how to raise more money to bring more families to Canada. Create and host your own personal fundraiser and donate the funds.
  • Do you have a green thumb?  Take the family to the nursery and plant containers on their patio or deck.
  • Are you a computer whiz?  Help set up phones, TV’s, internet and computers for the family.
  • Do you miss playing sports or games with your own children?  Here is a great opportunity to do it all over again!
  • Do you drive? Help family members get to their appointments.

Volunteer Testimonials

Refugee sponsorship has deepened my faith by revealing the importance of helping others in their time of need. It has also been uplifting to form relationships with the sponsored families, and to see their children flourish in their new homes.

When West Vancouver United Church sponsored a Syrian family, I had the chance to teach English to the young mother and father. We had a lot of fun getting to know one another and we had many laughs as we stumbled through our learning. The lesson time passed quickly. Our time together ended when the mother received a placement in a formal English language program and the father got a job. A fun time!

My work with Ali, Birivan and their boys has been tremendously rewarding. My very first encounter with Ali was two days after their arrival. I saw him standing alone outside his apartment. When I introduced myself, he reached his arms up to the sky and shouted in the happiest voice, "I LOVE CANADA!" It so touched my heart and filled me with joy that our church was able to sponsor these wonderful, deserving people.

Arrived May 2022

I arrived in Canada with my family including my wife and 3 boys in early May this year. We left Afghanistan in 2015 and have been waiting in Pakistan for a country to take us for 7 years. In the 6 months we have been here the boys are very much enjoying Canadian schools, in grade 3, grade 8 and 10. My wife and I are enrolled in English classes in persons since September, and we are still waiting for our PR (permanent resident) cards so that we can finish the paperwork to be ready to apply for work.
I was a civil engineer in Afghanistan and I am hoping to find a job in the building industry. I have just completed Level 5 English class and will continue to the next level. My wife is also studying English and is starting to understand many words. We are so happy here feeling safe and welcome in our new country of Canada

Arrived October 2020

My name is Aziza Fandi. I live with my mother, Aisha and we are from Syria. We moved to Dar Shukran camp in Erbil (Iraq) in 2013, because of the war conflict in Syria and we stayed in camp for 7 years but living in camp was very difficult because it wasn't safe. We moved to Canada on October 21, 2020. I started an online class to learn the language. My mom and I are very happy living in Canada because it is a safe country and especially for our sponsors supporting us. We like to say thank you to our sponsor for making a difference in our life.

Arrived October 2020

My name is Assim. I am the father of two boys. The eldest, Hamza is 15 years old, and the youngest one Ayaz is 11 years old. I am from Syria, and we moved to Dar Shukran camp in Kurdistan because of the war conflict in Syria. We stayed in Dar Shukran camp for 8 years. Living in the camp was very difficult.

We moved to Canada on October 21, 2020. My wife, Suhaila, and I are starting to go to school to learn English, and we are in LINC 3. I am currently working full time as a painter, the same job as back home. Also, Suhaila is looking to volunteer. Hamza and Ayaz love school a lot, and they would even like to go to school on weekends if they could. They don't like to have weekends off from school.

We are so happy and fortunate to live in Canada. Especially with the crescent of support from our sponsors, West Vancouver United Church, they made a difference in our lives.

Arrived March 2017

My name is Ali Fandi and I am working in construction 5 days a week. Also, my wife Birivan is taking Adult Education (English course). She likes to improve her English. My oldest son Hamza who is 12 years old, is in grade 6. He likes school and loves it so much that I registered him for soccer every Monday. My youngest son Mirvan is 9 years old. He is in grade 3 and he has a lot of friends.  Every day he is asking after school to play with his friend in the playground and he has a lot of fun.

In the end, I would like to say thank you to everyone who helped me come to Canada and change my life, and special thanks to people who helped me to reunite us with my mother, which was impossible for me, and thank you for making the impossible into reality.  

Frequently Asked Questions

WVUC’s refugee sponsorship efforts were revitalized in 2015, sparked by the photo of young Alan Kurdi being pulled from the Mediterranean waters where he perished, along with his mother and brother. Since then, we have walked beside several families as they began their new lives in Canada. We have also supported other community and church groups to bring more than 20 people to safety.

WVUC’s resources are currently fully committed for 2022/ 2023. We are in the process of fundraising and processing applications for a number of new families.
We sponsor refugees without regard for religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.
To date, we have only sponsored families and supported family reunifications.
We will act as co-sponsors with individuals, community groups or other churches. The refugees become part of the United Church of Canada quota, but all or part of the financial obligation may be provided by the co-sponsor (WVUC, the individual or community group).
- Bringing refugees to Canada is an important part of our national values.
- Refugees and immigrants are valuable drivers of our economic engine through their strong work ethic and ambitions of entrepreneurship.
- They contribute to and expand our multicultural landscape.
- They provide diversity which reinforces our reputation as a leading and caring nation, promoting a greater understanding of global issues.