SAFE is a three-year project co-funded by the European Commission, implemented and coordinated by Forum réfugiés, a French non-profit, and in partnership with six European partners:

  • Federation of Protestant Mutual Aid (FEP)
  • French Red Cross (CRF)
  • Italian Federation of Protestant Churches (FCEI)
  • Italian Red Cross (CRI)
  • Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED)
  • Oxfam Italy

In the Projected global resettlement needs 2021, UNHCR estimated that 1.44 million refugees are in need of resettlement. In that context, expanding safe legal pathways to third countries is urgently needed to support countries hosting large numbers of refugees and increase refugees’ access to protection. 

Private sponsorship schemes have been increasingly used in the European Union, including in France and in Italy, as a new option to provide durable solutions to refugees.

While resettlement provides a qualitative framework to support refugees’ protection and integration, private sponsorship schemes and complementary pathways represent an innovative and additional alternative to address these increasing needs. 

Building a global and coordinated structure is critical to share and disseminate lessons learned, experiences and best practices, and therefore guaranteeing qualitative, protective and complementary programs allowing adequate resources, reception and support. 


At European level, SAFE intends to facilitate the exchange of experiences, expertise and practices among organizations involved in the implementation of private sponsorship schemes and resettlement programs and to strengthen a European dynamic.

The project will identify the capacity building needs in private sponsorship schemes expressed by partners and associates thanks to the organization of workshops. European and international sponsor organizations will be invited to participate to these workshops. Based on these needs, exchanges of practices meetings, webinars and look and learn visits will be organized amongst partners and other actors such as organizations involved in resettlement programs or willing to be involved in private sponsorship schemes.

These dialogues will intend to find operational and concrete responses to the difficulties faced in the implementation of complementary pathways and private sponsorship schemes. They will also encourage and foster collaborations between partners and associates.

This website aims to provide an open and trusted learning environment where technical, operational and conceptual issues linked to the implementation of private sponsorship schemes can be discussed and addressed. The platform will also address the needs of reliable data on complementary pathways and private sponsorship schemes by collecting and highlighting researches, specific data on complementary pathways and methodologies implemented on a global sca


At national level, discussions around private sponsorship schemes will be organized in France and in Italy. In France the aim is to enhance cooperation between organizations involved in complementary pathways, private sponsorship schemes and resettlement programs. The platform will facilitate discussions between organizations, encouraging the exchange of experiences, in order to develop common recommendations on the development of private sponsorship schemes.

In Italy, with the mentorship of the Canadian associate partner, Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, the aim is to design an Italian community sponsorship program. Starting from an in-depth study of the existing schemes in other European and international countries and through focus groups with Italian relevant stakeholders, the partners will identify key issues and adapt the mechanism to the Italian framework. The model will be discussed with key actors, and publicly presented in a national conference.


Finally, three positions papers will be elaborated and disseminated, one by the international platform and one by each national platform. All deliverables elaborated as part of the project will be sent to the relevant interlocutors on private sponsorship schemes within the European institutions, national authorities and other relevant stakeholders. The final European seminar and the national events will present and disseminate the findings of the project, the recommendations and the tools elaborated.