OCRA 2.0 is our ongoing effort to help our refugee families and to promote refugee settlement. The single most important issue that our refugee families have identified, over and over again, is the plight of their close family members who were left behind and are living in vulnerable circumstances in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

Their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters are at risk. In some cases they are sending money out of their own tight budgets back to the Middle East to help with the most basic needs—food, water. Both the emotional stress and worry, as well as the financial drain on the families here, can undermine successful settlement.

We feel that the benefits of family reunification—by whatever mechanism or process—are twofold:

  1. Our new arrivals are more successful if they have family here in Canada—whether they are employed or not.
  2. Future refugee arrivals can integrate more successfully if they have family here already.

We are stronger together. United families are more resilient.

We have launched OCRA 2.0 to raise the funds and gather the volunteers needed to privately sponsor these family members. Our existing OCRA families are stepping up to participate extensively in the settlement plans for their family members. We are grateful to be partnering again with First United Church of Canada for purposes of co-sponsoring our refugee sponsorship applications; administering refugee support payments for the 12 month period after arrival, and accepting donations.

How can you help?

  • Donate:  We are seeking to raise enough money to meet the financial commitments that the Government of Canada requires for private sponsorships. Please consider making a donation or a pledge. All donations will be used only for refugee settlement and support.

  Email ocrafinance@gmail.com for information.

  • Volunteer to help settle a family or individual that comes to Canada if a private sponsorship is accepted. We will integrate you in Family Support Groups assigned to the families that are sponsored. Privately sponsored refugees will likely not arrive until 2018 or later.

   Email ocra613@gmail.com if you can help.

  • Provide In-kind Support: Support is needed for interim  housing (in advance of finding permanent housing); clothing, furniture, household and kitchen supplies, linens and sundry items.

  Email ocra613@gmail.com  if you can help.

Community members who donated, volunteered and provided in-kind support were the sole reason that OCRA was so successful in 2016. We thank you for your continued support!