Ensuring that those we sponsor experience a smooth transition at the end of a 12-month sponsorship is key to a successful sponsorship. At our September 23 workshop, Michelle Ndizeye, a trainer with the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), put us through the paces of how to do a needs assessment and when to begin and shared with us the RSTP Month 13 checklist: https://www.rstp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Month-13-Resource-Kit-v.1.4.pdf
At Month 9, the sponsor group should:
- Look at the sponsorship experience so far from both sides
- Determine unmet needs
- Discuss the post-sponsorship relationship
- Form an action plan for the remaining months
At Month 12, use the checklist to ensure that newcomers have the information and skills needed for post-sponsorship. Some newcomers may need help through social assistance (OW or ODSP).
We also heard from the newcomer perspective. One participant reported, “It was good to hear the newcomer voice from Ashraf. Sometimes we get so focussed on all the elements of a needs assessment, we forget that the newcomer assessment of the experience is critical to determining a successful sponsorship.”