Are you based in Ontario, sponsoring a refugee through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, and need help completing the application forms?

RSTP Ontario is hosting a free application forms clinic for Ontario based sponsors on Monday July 25th 2016 from 6pm to 8pm 

The clinic will cover: what forms need to be completed; how to complete specific forms; recent changes in procedure; and, best practices to follow when completing the forms. The RSTP Ontario team will also be available to review sponsorship application forms during the clinic.

The clinic will be held at the following address:

Date: July 25, 2016
Time: 8:00 p.m.
Location: Catholic Crosscultural Services,
3660 Hurontario St. 7th floor,
Mississauga, ON  L5B 3C4

To confirm your attendance, please email: ontariosponsors@rstp.ca.

Attendees are kindly requested to bring printed copies of their sponsorship application forms if they would like them reviewed.

Posted: 07/25/2016 - 09:45

The Star Toronto - A year after its launch, the university’s refugee resettlement effort raised $4.5 million, formed 102 sponsorship groups and supported 150 refugee families.

When Wendy Cukier first challenged her colleagues and students at Ryerson University a year ago to step up and help sponsor Syrian refugees to Canada, her goal was modest: forming 10 sponsorship teams to bring in 10 families.

Little did the Ryerson vice-president of research and innovation expect the challenge would get so much traction, not just from her local community but also from OCAD University, the University of Toronto, York University, and communities across Canada.

This week, on the first anniversary of the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, Cukier, the project’s founder, announced the final tallies: $4.5 million raised, 102 teams formed, 150 families sponsored, 23 families or 125 people arrived and 1,000 volunteers recruited.

“It’s really tremendously inspiring to see the work of the community. This is incredibly exciting,” said Cukier, who will be leaving Ryerson to be president and vice-chancellor of Brock University in September.

Posted: 07/22/2016 - 15:26

National Post Sundridge Ontario - The Alkurdi sisters are Syrian. They came to Canada in mid-February with their parents, Hisham and Bareaa, as privately sponsored refugees. On their second day in the country, they built a snowman. Now it is July and they are at an all-girls camp about three hours north of Toronto.

For many Canadians, camp is a rite of passage, a place where city kids escape the concrete to paddle, sail, catch frogs, sleep beneath the stars, sing songs around a campfire and form lifelong friendships. Camp, for the Alkurdis, held a different connotation, until recently. The only camps that they knew of were overflowing with Syrian refugees and known as places to get out of and not to happily go to for a week.

“Our special project this summer is to welcome Syrian newcomers, to have them come and enjoy this beautiful outdoor experience beside the lake and to share our activities — and for us to experience them and for them to experience us,” Palm says.

Posted: 07/22/2016 - 15:12

Syrian Family Links Initiative was launched in January 2016 to respond to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.

The program aims at matching Syrian refugee families residing in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan with Canadian private sponsors.

The webinar is intended to provide an overview of the program and the profiles of the families registered with us (only non-identifying information would be provided).

Please note that the facilitator will not be able to answer case specific enquiries during the webinar.

Date: Friday July 29, 2016
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. EDT

To register please please click here

Posted: 07/21/2016 - 10:32

This workshop which will be conducted by Toronto Refugee Sponsorship Support Initiative (Toronto RSS) is intended for the private sponsors of refugees and will explore various themes including:

  • Managing expectations: What are sponsors’ and refugees’ expectations of each other, and how can expectations be managed to avoid potential conflict?
  • Code of ethics for private sponsoring groups: What are some ethical practices that private sponsors may wish to consider?
  • Power imbalance: How do power imbalances affect the relationship between sponsors and refugees, and how can they be minimized?

There will be a total of 3 workshops conducted at 3 different locations across Toronto but all these workshops will deliver the same content.  As such, private sponsors need to register for and attend one of the workshops only.

Date: Tuesday July 26, 2016 
Time: 5:45 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. EDT
Where: Runnymede Library, Program Room, 2178 Bloor Street West, Toronto

To register please click here

For more information contact Nadine Nasir.
Phone: 416-290-1700, ext. 404 or
E-mail: torontorss@rstp.ca

Posted: 07/21/2016 - 10:04

CBC News Manitoba - People around the world come together to put on jerseys and cheer for their favourite teams but in Winnipeg a soccer camp used the love of sport to help refugee children feel at home.

The sounds of laughter, shoes hitting the ground, and soccer balls flying into the back of the net filled the University of Winnipeg's Axworthy Health and RecPlex on Saturday as about 100 kids, mostly from Syria, took part in a soccer camp.

"Soccer is the number one sport in Syria and, just like hockey in Canada, every kid looks up to soccer players, they want to be like them, they want to be famous, they feel good playing soccer," said Omar Rahimi, founder of Liberty Football Club Soccer Academy.

"And that's the only thing that makes them feel good right now."

Posted: 07/19/2016 - 14:47

Calgary Metro - Assma Yassin had one dream: to meet Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. And on Saturday, her dream finally came true.

The 17-year-old Syrian refugee, who arrived on the plane from Lebanon carrying a portrait of her hero, met him at Calgary Centre MP Kent Herh’s pancake breakfast.

The meeting has been a long time coming. Metro first reported on Yassin’s story back in March, explaining how the young artist had painted a portrait of Trudeau with the hopes of meeting him and thanking him for allowing Syrian refugees to find a new home in Canada.

And Friday she narrowly missed meeting the PM at the Genesis Centre pancake breakfast, while her sister was luckier and posed for a selfie with him.

Now, Yassin said she can’t believe it finally happened.

“I waited for so long and now I have met Justin and thanked him for the people of Syria,” she said. 

Posted: 07/19/2016 - 14:33

CBC News North - Whitehorse could soon welcome its second family of Syrian refugees - maybe as early as September.

The Riverdale Baptist Church says it recently received word that it has been paired with a "travel-ready" family of five, now living in Turkey.

"I think we're all really excited," said Hillary Gladish, from the church's organizing committee. 

"There's some trepidation, and it's pretty daunting  — now, finally, this is coming together and the work is just beginning."

Yukon's first Syrian refugee family arrived last winter, sponsored by the local group Yukon Cares. The Riverdale Baptist Church began its efforts to host another family, around the same time.

  • Syrian family settles into Yukon life with big welcome from locals
Posted: 07/15/2016 - 13:47

Anglican Journal Richmond Hill Ont - Since last September, when the world first saw the body of the little Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi, washed up on a shore in Turkey, Anglicans in 14 dioceses across Canada have sponsored and resettled 1,750 refugees, members of General Synod heard Tuesday, July 12.

In all, $20 million was raised to support refugee resettlement and sponsorship, William Postma, recently appointed director of The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) said in a presentation to synod, in its last day of meetings.

It’s evidence, Postma said, of how the Anglican Church of Canada “punches above its weight” when it comes to refugee work.

“This deserves more than an acknowledgment, but a celebration,” he said.

Posted: 07/15/2016 - 11:59

City of Markham understands how important it is for you and your family to get to know the new community you have recently moved to.

To assist you in learning about your community, we have developed the One Family program. This program is an opportunity for families to come together with other Syrian families who are also living in Markham, to share experiences, access community information and participate in a planned activity.

2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Sharing and Information Session
4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Family Swim

Activities will include a family swim, so please bring your bathing suits.

Date: Saturday, July 23, 2016
Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Cornell Community Centre and Library,
3201 Bur Oak Avenue, Markham

In order for us to plan ahead, we ask that you confirm your attendance by contacting Brieanna Gabbard at 905-477-7000 ext. 3670 or by e-mail: bgabbard@markham.ca

Posted: 07/13/2016 - 15:08