As if they are not busy enough in their personal and professional lives, four members of the Barnes Management Group (BMG) leadership team have now branched out into another area in their voluntary capacity as Sponsors of Afghani Refugees.

The initiative started when William (Bill) Croson, a Health Care Expert at BMG, introduced the fact that he and his partner have been involved for years in assisting refugees settle in Canada to BMG’s Founder, David Barnes.

At a recent BMG leadership team meeting, Bill shared some information about his interest and background in assisting refugees and commented, “Becoming a supportive friend to someone who has lived in a completely different and difficult reality is the most challenging and rewarding experience in my life.”

Bill’s firm commitment to assisting people from other parts of the world coming to and settling into life in Canada was enough inspiration for David to offer his help.

David, who speaks of BMG as an organization that brings like-hearted consultants together to serve a diverse client base in several key sectors, was quick to act and did some further recruiting himself to broaden the support groups that were being formed. Before you know it, two more members of the BMG leadership team, Barney Savage, BMG’s Policy Development and Insight Expert had joined the sponsorship team, as did Fernando Saldanha, BMG consultant in the areas of Communications and Child Welfare.

In addition to their regular duties with BMG, this group has come together, along with other individuals in the community, to sponsor 4 young refugees from Afghanistan, by forming 4 teams of 5 members on each team to support the refugees when they arrive. Most of the refugees have been living in Indonesia for several years, awaiting their refugee immigration process to be completed. The sponsorship group supports these young men with their application process and settling into their new lives once they arrive in Canada. The BMG leadership team has been working closely with Stephen Watt and the organization Northern Lights Canada to provide support to the young men. (

During his long three years in detention, one of the young men who has been sponsored by one of the the BMG support teams, received his official refugee status from the UNHCR on June 10, 2016. And on March 16, 2018, he was transferred out of detention and into refugee housing, where he has lived ever since. To make the most of his time and gifts, on November 3, 2018 he became a volunteer with a local school, founded by a fellow Hazara refugee. For three days a week, he teaches chemistry and science to refugee children. He hopes to give them the opportunities he has so far been denied. Good news – a group in Toronto, led by David Barnes, has submitted an application on Sept 22, 2020, to bring this young man to Canada.

Reflecting on his involvement in this initiative, David recently commented, “This experience has enriched my life by knowing that together, we can make a difference in the lives of these young men. They are so grateful to have us in their lives and I remind them that the relationship is two ways. We gain so much by getting to know them as our friends. ”

Written by Fernando Saldanha, Managing Director, Barnes Management Group

Image Copyright: Fernando Saldanha

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