What is Private Sponsorship for Refugees?

The Private Refugees Sponsorship project consists of an initiative of  Hospitality and accompaniment by civil society to refugees who arrive in our country in a vulnerable situation, so that there is a real and safe integration in the place of arrival. 

This accompaniment seeks to involve the local community to be part of the process, to see and become aware of the urgency and needs of refugees to achieve a dignified life and, together, to seek effective solutions. In this way, a “family” attitude is created between the new arrivals, civil society and public administrations. 

This initiative is promoted by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) in close collaboration with, on the one hand, Central Governments (Ministry of Inclusion, Social Welfare and Migration) Regional Governments; and on the other hand, social organizations (Diocesan Caritas, the Society of Jesus and the Jesuit Migrant Service – SJM) and the local community. 

One of the great strengths about this project is that it is a durable solution of inclusion, in the line with the commitments adopted in the Global Compact on Refugees, where the community is directly involved with the work of reception and integration of refugees, accompanying and supporting the processes of integration and participation of refugees in the community, acting as the basic network of support and accompaniment and attending to all material, emotional and personal needs. In addition, the program complements the state refugee rewarming and refugee resettlement programs, and reinforces social inclusion and cohesion, involving the authorities and civil society. 

The integration proposal consists of hosting families in conditions of extreme vulnerability for a period of between 18 and 24 months. Thus, thanks to the Private Refugees Sponsorship and its volunteers, apart from integration into society and the opportunity of a new dignified life, the families welcomed are guaranteed the right to international protection. 

So far, three projects in three different regions have been promoted in partnership between UNHCR and the public administrations of the Government, both central and regional , since the end of 2019. In the Basque Country, it began with a pilot project to receive 29 people from Jordan identified by their teams as particularly vulnerable cases. There Syrian families are accompanied in different municipalities of the Basque Country through a collaboration agreement with Caritas Dioceses of Bilbao, San Sebastian and Vitoria and the Ignacio Ellacuría Social Foundation, with the intention that it can be replicated on other Regions of Spain. 

In the Valencian Community, the Generalitat launched the Private Refugees Sponsorship project in October 2020, with the social support of SJM Valencia and the local communities of the Valencian capital and the municipality of Alaquás. 

In Tudela, the Padre Lasa Center and the San Francisco Javier Civil Foundation participate in the ‘Somos’ project together with the Government of Navarra, the General Directorate of Migration Policies and the City Council of Tudela. This initiative welcomes two Syrian families in the city.