AIRSS started with a young family fleeing the Democratic Republic of Congo. We knew we needed to help. 

The Athabasca Interfaith Refugee Sponsorship Society (AIRSS) was formed in 2006 in response to an urgent need to assist one family fleeing the ravages of war by bringing them to safety in Canada. The group evolved to form a non-profit society with members from several local faith groups and community members. 


Our Mission

To offer any and all assistance to those refugees who suffer because of religious and/or humanitarian persecution in various areas around the world.

Jules Kubota, 23, Athabasca, AB

Jules Kubota, 23, Athabasca, AB

I was living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My father was murdered by the rebels when I was 2 years old (1995). My oldest brother was murdered by rebels in a church when he was preaching. Everyone there was murdered – over 100 people in the church – August 24, 1998. The whole country was at war since 1995 and it continues. My mother cared for our family for many years. One of my older brothers came to Canada and asked for help to sponsor our family.

In September 2012, I came to Canada with my two brothers. My mother died before we were approved to come. I was very happy to come to Canada to have a good education and there is a peace and freedom.

The sponsorship group – that is my family and they helped me a lot. They helped me to learn English until now and they got me two jobs. They taught me how to drive. I didn’t drive in my country. They changed my life because I am living in a beautiful small town, Athabasca, where I can easily get a job and learn whatever I want. If I was still in the Congo, maybe I could be killed by the rebels at any time. They will take whatever you have and kill you.

I am so grateful for everything that the Athabasca Refugee Sponsorship has been doing for me and for my two brothers - they are still helping me . May God bless the Athabasca Refugee Sponsorship!
— Jules Kubota, 23, Athabasca, AB

What We've Achieved

  • Our sponsorship applications for two families were submitted to the government in July 2016. Government numbers were assigned in Sept-Oct 2016 and processing by the government continues.
  • We started our third application in 2016.
  • We brought two families to Canada in 2012 and 2014.