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Did you know that Canada became the first country to privately sponsor refugees?

On July 20, 1978 under Operation Lifelinethe Canada Immigration Act, 1976 formally enabled the world’s most successful Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program.

Although small-scale programs exist in other countries, none is a true model of this uniquely Canadian initiative that has seen hundreds of thousands of refugees privately resettled since its inception.

Many queer folks within the global LGBTQ+ community are asylum seekers in their home countries and nations, escaping violence and death, even by their own families. They must flee to another country or nation to become a refugee.

Such persecution is based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGIE).

They are SOGIE migrants.

Rainbow Foundation of Hope (RFOH) is a group of volunteers dedicated to offering a path to safety by funding the efforts of caring and compassionate Canadians within a national network of civil society groups.

This movement has its roots in the work of Vancouver-based Rainbow Refugee Society, founded in 2000 by Christine Morrissey, OC.

We administer 100% of our grassroots donations to Canadian registered charities supporting SOGIE migrants. Our model is simple, yet indispensible to their success. It provides support for safe relocation, successful arrival, and eventual resettlement into Canadian society.

Worldwide, it has made a significant difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, refugees, and newcomers to Canada.


Our charity is a volunteer working board. It started as a small group of citizens in Vancouver that privately sponsored a gay Syrian couple as a Circle of Hope co-sponsored by Rainbow Refugee.

As an initiative led by Carl Meadows, members of that private sponsorship group went on to found RFOH in 2014. It became a registered charity in 2015 and is legally required to direct funds exclusively to other Canadian charities (i.e., qualified donees) working with private citizens.

Rainbow Refugee and its civil society partners have since formed a coalition to engage others to raise funds, gather resources, and appeal to the Government of Canada to approve relocation and resettlement applications and improve policy that addresses SOGIE migrants.

This is where RFOH  fits in.

We focus on fundraising within a broad strategy for safe migration that offers emergent benefits. By learning about the work being done, we can readily identify partnerships among donor circles and other charities sharing common objectives.

Success takes an entire community and we collaborate to assist LGBTQ+ asylum seekers, refugees, and newcomers. Once a private sponsorship application gets approval from the Government of Canada, many extraordinary Canadians will dedicate their lives to safely relocate and actively resettle the sponsored individuals.

Our grants program offers both PRIVATE SPONSORSHIP and COMMUNITY SERVICES awards to support other Canadian charities acting directly on behalf of individual SOGIE migrants.

Check out the success of our grants program to date!

Most importantly, the goal begins with you, the donor. You make all of this possible by entrusting us to ensure your contributions will go directly to the cause for safe relocation and resettlement of SOGIE migrants.


The monarch butterfly is our metaphor for the SOGIE  migrant. Its extraordinary migration strategy involves travelling thousands of kilometers – a miraculous migration over an ocean to arrive and flourish in a new country.

Monarch butterflies are vulnerable and are vanishing at astonishing rates in some parts of the world. This puts the long-term survival of the species at risk.


We commit ourselves to transparency & accountability.

Rainbow Foundation of Hope is a Canadian Registered Charity and all Canadian donations are eligible for a charitable tax receipt.

Our CRA Registration: BN 838889582 RR0001

Then click HERE and donate now.

Your donations mean the world to us.


We are a passionate group of dedicated volunteers. View our unique model for receiving and giving out the funds HERE.

You can also read the bios of our 100% volunteer Members and the foundation Board of Directors HERE.

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