For the past two years, Pride Foundation Australia has been steadily expanding its support in the sponsorship and hands-on support of LGBTQIA+ refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.
In 2021, the Refugee Sponsorship Sub-Fund was established in 2021 by PFA patron Dennis Altman and PFA chair Ruth McNair. The Sub-Fund seeks to raise money to financially support sponsorship efforts of groups involved in CRSA’s Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Pilot (CRISP), specifically groups supporting LGBTQIA+ refugees and people seeking asylum.
PFA took part in the very first CRISP pilot program in 2021, sponsoring a gay man from Bangladesh to support his ongoing settlement in Australia, which continues today. In the latest CRISP Pilot program, PFA sponsored a trans woman seeking asylum from El Salvador, who arrived in Australia in July 2023.
Recently, Forcibly Displaced People Network (FDPN) announced their partnership with CRISP to provide queer-specific training to sponsorship groups through their Thrive Together program. In partnership with the CRISP program, Forcibly Displaced People Network is offering additional LGBTIQ+ sensitivity training and further support to sponsorship groups who are keen to sponsor queer refugees seeking safety in Australia.
PFA has been supporting FDPN with this partnership through in-kind marketing support to promote the Thrive Together program, as well as auspicing donations, and has committed to promoting the program through our own channels ongoing.
We have now launched a public-facing donation portal for our Refugee Sponsorship Sub-Fund using our trusted partner, GiveNow. Until now, the Sub-Fund has been managed internally, shared among our networks and promoted at a number of fundraiser dinners across Australia. We are hoping that the new public-facing Sub-Fund can take on new strides as it grows in support.
We greatly encourage those who have the capacity to support a LGBTQIA+ refugee settling in Australia to form a group of 5 or more people in your local community and sign up with the CRISP program in partnership with Thrive Together. Community sponsorship is a proven method to enable safe settlement through arrangement of a humanitarian visa in a transition country, safe passage to the host country, and local community support for at least the first year.
For those who aren’t able to offer support within a sponsorship group, we encourage you to financially back the efforts of those who are participating in this integral work by donating to our Refugee Sponsorship Sub-Fund.