Although the concept of seeking refuge in a Holy place has existed for thousands of years, the current term of refugee stems from the conflicts, hostilities, and mass forced migrations of the 20th century. Currently there are over 19 million refugees and almost 60 million displaced people in the world. In order to understand who refugees are, where they are coming from, why they have to leave their countries, how they come to Canada through AURA; you first need to know the major players.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)


"In 1950 the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established to protect and support refugees. The UNHCR is tasked to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. The UNHCR's primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country."

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)


Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) facilitates the arrival of immigrants, provides protection to refugees, and offers programming to help newcomers settle in Canada. The "Refugees selected for resettlement to Canada have often fled their homes because of unimaginable hardship and have, in many cases, been forced to live in refugee camps for many years. When they arrive in Canada, they basically pick up the pieces of their lives and start over again."

Private Sponsors, like AURA


Private sponsors across the country also help resettle refugees to Canada. Some are organized to do so on an ongoing basis and have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees from abroad when they resettle in Canada. These organizations are known as sponsorship agreement holders. They can sponsor refugees themselves or work with others in the community to sponsor refugees. AURA is a Canadian charitable organization assisting in the sponsorship and resettlement of refugees. We represent the Anglican Diocese of Toronto and support the Toronto Conference of the United Church of Canada as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.