MOSAIC welcomes first family via Operation #NotForgotten

December 20, 2023

Kamal Saeidilouei (second from right), his wife and child were welcomed by MOSAIC settlement staff at Vancouver International Airport, Dec. 12.

“It was like coming from hell to heaven.”  immigration programs, ONF

That was the sentiment Kamal Saeidilouei, originally from Iran, said he and his wife felt as they were welcomed by MOSAIC in Vancouver on Dec. 12, after their time spent in refugee detention in Papua New Guinea.

Saeidilouei, his wife and two-year-old son arrived in Canada via Operation #NotForgotten (ONF), a multi-partner initiative consisting of MOSAIC, UNHCR Australia, Refugee Council of Australia and Ads Up Canada to help refugees detained indefinitely in Australian offshore detention centres.

To date, the Refugee Council of Australia has donated nearly $3 million to MOSAIC, to help privately sponsor and settle ONF individuals and families.

“It’s heartwarming to envision the bright future that awaits [the family] here in Canada,” said Zain Zaidi, MOSAIC’s Coordinator of Operation #NotForgotten and Private Refugee Sponsorship Program.

Zaidi admits there are concerns, particularly with the rising cost of living in Metro Vancouver and a volatile housing market, which adds further pressure to immigrants and refugees attempting to settle in metropolitan areas across Canada.

“To address these challenges, we provide them with temporary accommodation in MOSAIC transitional houses, which gives them a starting point to find a job and stay for around three months. This makes the transition into the housing market bit easier for them,” Zaidi said.

Over previous years, ONF has successfully settled over 20 clients across Canada. Currently, the program has assisted over 60 clients, with an additional 63 individuals waiting to make the journey to Canada.  Nearly 100 family members living overseas are expecting to reunite with ONF clients after they settle, via Canada’s One Year Window of Opportunity (OYW) provision to reunite immigrant and refugee families.

While the provision doesn’t guarantee reunification within one year, it serves as an allotted time starting from the day the refugee claimant arrives in Canada to file necessary paperwork to sponsor family members living abroad.

As the family begins a new chapter in their lives, Saeidilouei says he now looks forward to his child’s future in their new home:

“Canada belongs to the children. Kids are the priority and the future of this country. Kiya’s [Kamal’s son] future will reach the highest level here than it could have anywhere else.” – former client of one of the canadian immigration programs, ONF

For more information on donations to support refugees and private sponsorship programs through MOSAIC, please go to