Chad Wilkinson


A new community partnership in Atlantic Canada

Rainbow Foundation of Hope has just awarded two grants to a new charitable partner, the Universalist Unitarian Church of Halifax (UUC).

As the sponsorship agreement holder (SAH), UUC is working in partnership with Rainbow Refugee Association of Nova Scotia (RRANS) to resettle queer refugees from the Middle East to Atlantic Canada.

Growing a national network of community partners has been a priority of Rainbow Foundation of Hope (RFOH) as part of the first strategic initiative undertaken by the Board of Directors in early 2016.

Both UUC and RRANS will work to privately sponsor three LGBT+ refugees with Ubuntu Canada Refugee as the constituent group (CG). One CG is working to resettle a queer Azerbaijani couple in Turkey and the other is looking to resettle a queer Syrian in Lebanon.

With grants that have now been issued to Canadian charities from Nanaimo, B.C. to Halifax, Nova Scotia we are proud to be present from coast to coast and in six provinces: B.C.. Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.


Announcing the first grant to Rainbow Refugee for 2021

Despite the challenges of fundraising during the global pandemic, RFOH is managing to bring funds in to award grants to our national network of community partners.

This is all thanks to the generous donors and dedicated volunteers working to make it possible.

Rainbow Refugee has just been awarded its first grant of 2021 to a Circle of Hope in Vancouver to support private sponsorship of a queer Iranian family.

This grant of $2500 will be used in resettlement efforts of these individuals once they arrive in Vancouver.

Rainbow Refugee and the Circle of Hope have been raising funds to build a settlement plan. This is a collaborative process that engages MOSAIC as the accredited sponsorship agreement holder, or SAH.

The SAH is required by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to accept private sponsorship applications from co-sponsors like Rainbow Refugee with its Circle of Hope.

MOSAIC is one of our community partners that not only assists Rainbow Refugee with sponsorship applications, but also provides valuable services for resettling LGBT+ newcomers.

If you are curious about privately sponsoring a queer refugee, get in touch with Rainbow Refugee. Consider forming a Circle of Hope with a group of private citizens that are dedicated to assisting with this cause.

There are many integrated components involved in the work. Grants from RFOH alleviate some of the fundraising burden for sponsorship groups whilst also supporting valuable programs like MOSAIC’s I Belong Project.

It all helps to ease the difficult process of relocation and resettlement once individuals arrive in Canada.

Please consider donating to the cause or becoming a volunteer (or both!)


A message from Kimahli Powell on Biden’s first 100 days

We formed Rainbow Railroad USA in 2015 with the goal of increasing the number of pathways available to LGBTQI displaced persons entering the United States. However, the 2016 election presented significant challenges for our work – with the Trump administration’s egregious ‘Muslim Ban’, the drastic reduction in admissions for refugees and the rejection of the right to claim asylum at the southern border. 

Thankfully, with your support, we were still able to engage policy makers in the State Department and build international coalitions to support LGBTQI refugees.

Elections have consequences: with Biden signing a memorandum on advancing the rights of LGBTQI people abroad – which specifically mentions LGBTQI refugees – an important door has opened. 

So, in these first 100 days – a period critical to any presidency – what concrete actions can we expect from the Biden administration that will make a real difference in the lives of LGBTQI migrants and people who experience persecution internationally? And how will that impact our work here at Rainbow Railroad?

I’ve pulled together a cross section of partners that I’m honored to moderate and discuss this very issue with to provide you insight about how this administration’s new tone might translate into real and lasting change.

Be a part of the conversation. Join us for this live virtual event on Thursday March 11 at noon EST. Please click here to RSVP – a link will be sent to you via email immediately prior to the event to join. 

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions of the panelists. Questions will be addressed during the live event as time permits. 

In solidarity,

Kimahli Powell


LOUD scholarships open to eligible applicants

Did you know RFOH has partnered with LOUD Foundation to offer joint scholarships that support education and training needs for LGBT+ refugees and newcomers?

Applications close on January 31st. Residents of B.C. are encouraged to apply. Click HERE for more information on the application process.


Volunteer with our Review Subcommittee in 2021

Ever felt like volunteering, but not sure where to begin?

Rainbow Foundation of Hope (RFOH) relies on community support to help us review grant applications from our National Partners.

They are Canadian registered charities leading projects and programs for LGBT+ refugees and newcomers (i.e., SOGIE migrants) through three RFOH funding streams:

Whenever RFOH receives a new application, we draw upon a growing database of community volunteers on our Review Subcommittee to review and evaluate each application.

The process provides transparency and accountability of our grant administration process to volunteers and donors.

Commit whatever time you can. Each application is based purely on your interest and availability. We look for a minimum of two (2) community representatives outside of the RFOH Board of Directors to help with a goal of 50% community representation.

Over 30 volunteers have helped us with the review process to date. Message us at and we’ll happily add you to our growing list.

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