Welcome Circles

Welcome Circles participants at an event in Ireland in 2022. A group are dancing in a circle, holding raised hands together.

Welcome Circles participants at event hosted in Ireland, 2022

Introducing Welcome Circles

HIAS launched its Welcome Circles initiative in the United States in 2021, helping support resettled Afghans following the fall of Kabul. The model was adapted and expanded to Europe following Russia’s full scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, with Jewish communities in 12 countries across the continent now helping Ukrainian refugees relocate and begin rebuilding their lives.

Now in 2024, HIAS+JCORE is introducing a new UK Welcome Circles pilot project. Working in partnership with Citizens UK and Jewish communities across the country, we’ll be facilitating groups to support Afghan refugees relocated through the ‘Communities for Afghans’ community sponsorship scheme.

What is a Welcome Circle?

Welcome Circles are groups of individuals who provide financial, practical and emotional support to newly arrived refugees, helping them to reach independence sustainably.

Why this model?

Welcome Circles help create additional sponsorship capacity, streamline the recruitment and application process for sponsor groups, and reduce the fundraising requirements of traditional community sponsorship.

HIAS has extensive expertise in refugee resettlement. Since 2021, Welcome Circles have supported more than 1,500 resettled Afghans and displaced Ukrainians. HIAS has trained, vetted, certified and provided ongoing guidance to more than 100 Welcome Circles in the United States, and almost 20 in Europe.

What would involvement look like?

In the UK, groups of at least six individuals will welcome an Afghan household into their local community and support them over a period of two years. You’ll be provided with training from Citizens UK, and HIAS+JCORE’s Integration Coordinator will be readily available to support groups with any challenges.

Read more about the requirements – and what participation could include

Why get involved?

By taking part, you can help resettled refugees overcome challenges as they rebuild their lives in the UK – and take an active role in facilitating their integration here.

Find out more

Interested in getting involved – or want to find out more? Download our FAQ sheet and one pager for an overview of the project.

Contact us for more information