We are ROAR

Reaching Out Assisting Refugees is a volunteer organization of LGBTQ people and allies who live on Vancouver Island. We are a diverse group of professionals, retired people, students and community members who are part of a larger movement of Canadians dedicated to sponsoring sexual and gender minority refugees to come to live in safety.


Like our sister organizations around the country, we want to harness the talent and generosity of our community. ROAR has received support and financial contributions from individuals and organizations in Nanaimo and across British Columbia including Rainbow Refugee, Foundation of Hope, the Rotary Club, and various businesses. 

ROAR is grateful for the assistance of Brechin United Church, which has partnered with us to facilitate the sponsorship process. 

The ROAR board is very active. Since our founding in 2016 we have held awareness-raising events, participated in various Pride marches, and organized major fundraisers in the Nanaimo area. 

In 2018 ROAR sponsorship groups brought two refugees from the Middle East to safety in the Nanaimo area. A third person was resettled from Africa in 2019. In the same year we created a sponsorship group to bring two more refugees in Nanaimo. Applications were submitted, funds were raised, but the pandemic has delayed their resettlement process. We are waiting anxiously for the reopening of Canada's borders. Despite the pandemic, in 2020 ROAR created yet another sponsorship group, and we are currently raising funds to resettle a sixth refugee. 

Committed volunteers are still needed. We are actively recruiting. 


ROAR continues to work towards the successful resettlement of more sexual and gender minority people fleeing persecution. We welcome your interest and support.

The first meeting of ROAR volunteers, July 2016