Help refugees start a new life​

A global crisis

By mid-2023, there were 110 million people forcibly displaced worldwide. That’s well over double the population of Canada forced to leave their country, family, friends, and community for somewhere completely unknown.

Refugee sponsorship is one tool we can use to tackle this global crisis together.

As part of the Canadian government’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program, we help refugees resettle in Canada.

Refugee sponsorship is a long-term, dynamic process through which newcomers are welcomed and supported in order to participate widely and independently in Canadian society.
A gathering of OHRA members at the Halifax Central Library

Welcome new neighbours

Open Harbour Refugee Association (OHRA) is a community-based, volunteer-run organization based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

We believe that everyone—no matter where they were born or where they live—has a right to a safe home.

Supporting refugees financially is only one of our responsibilities. We offer friendship and emotional support, and, among many other tasks, help newcomers:

  • find safe housing that meets their needs
  • access language training and enrol children in school
  • learn about Canadian culture and values
  • find a job or job training

Since the fall of 2015, we have sponsored: a Syrian family of four; an Eritrean man; another Syrian family of four; an East African mom with two children; an adult Iraqi family of four; and, most recently, an Eritrean mom with three children who escaped their life of refuge in war-torn Sudan to join us in Halifax in November 2023.

Help a refugee family call Halifax home

Your gift will make a lasting impact in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Give people who have lived through unbelievable hardship a chance to live in safety and peace.

How your donation could help a refugee family:

  • Monthly phone cost: $50+
  • Winter clothing: $200+
  • Healthy food for a month: $800+
  • One month of rent: $2000+

100% of your donation goes directly to supporting refugees in their first year in Canada.

To donate, please email or send an e-transfer to Thank you for your support!

Two young girls dressed in warm winter gear smiling with background of snow
OHRA members with a newcomer at Peggy's Cove

Change lives for the better

We’re completely run by volunteers and there is much to be done. Get involved for the long haul or help us out at one-off eventsit’s up to you.

Our members and volunteers do everything from taking new Nova Scotians for a day of skating, to helping with weekly tutoring, to organizing fundraising events, and lots more. 

You can get involved by filling out this application and sending it to Our volunteer coordinator will contact you for a phone interview.

We can’t do this without you. Please, join us and change lives!

Open Harbour Refugee Association

The Open Harbour Refugee Association (OHRA) is a volunteer-run non-profit based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We privately sponsor UNHCR refugees to Nova Scotia and support them financially and socially for one year after arrival. OHRA is a non-profit society under the Nova Scotia Registry of Joint Stocks.

Connect with us
Connect with us