This summer, the Ontario Camps Association (OCA) is proud to offer 350 free spots to refugee children in Canadian summer camps across the country. Accredited Camps are providing hundreds of free spaces at their camps for children ages 4-15 who have come to Canada as refugees in the last three years.

Thanks to the generous donations from Accredited Camps across Ontario, we are offering free spots to a variety of camps, including:

  • Day or overnight camps
  • Specialty camps
  • Religious or non-religious camps
  • All boy, all girl, or co-ed camps
  • One week or multi-week camps

Agencies, Organizations, Sponsors and Families must first complete an application form for the family.

For more information or to apply please click here

Posted: 02/21/2017 - 15:51

Family reunification - How to Sponsor Syrian Refugees (conducted in Arabic).

This session will cover:

  • Who can be sponsored?
  • Who can sponsor?
  • How to to sponsor?
  • Family reunification under One Year Window and proof of refugee status recognition

Date: Saturday, February 25, 2017
Time: 11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.
Location: West Neighbourhood House, 248 Ossington Ave. Toronto

To register please contact Siham Abosita at 416-931-7719 or e-mail: sihamab@westnh.org

Posted: 02/08/2017 - 09:51

Ryerson University, Project Welcome, invites newcomer Syrians to a free financial literacy workshop (Conducted in Arabic).

The event is targeted towards newcomer Syrians in Arabic on basic financial literacy.

Topics include:

  • Banks vs. Credit Unions
  • Chequing vs. Savings Account
  • Criteria to Consider when Selecting an Account
  • Tap Banking
  • Bank Interest and Other Incentives
  • Other Bank Services
  • Saving for the Future
  • Mobile Banking Applications
  • Opening a Bank Account
  • Fees and Service Charges
  • Newcomer Banking Packages
  • Line of Credit 
  • Protecting your Bank Account

Date: Tuesday Februrary 21, 2017
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Student Learning Centre, 341 Yonge Street, Toronto.

To register please click here

Posted: 01/30/2017 - 12:11

CBCNews Kitchener Waterloo - 'My life's completely changed,' says Syrian refugee Tareq Ibrahim

One month after sharing his story with CBC News, Tareq Ibrahim has landed a job in his field with Cambridge insurance company Gore Mutual.

Ibrahim arrived in Kitchener in September 2015, but despite being fluent in English and having worked as a finance manager for multi-national corporations, he struggled to find work that matched his skills. 

Companies wanted to see Canadian experience, Ibrahim told CBC's The Morning Edition in December. 

Ibrahim's story resonated with people, in particular because he refused to apply for Ontario Works or accept government support until he exhausted his savings. 

Catherine Leclair heard that interview on her drive to work.

"[I] thought it was very compelling," said Leclair, the vice president of human resources for Gore Mutual. 

"But along with it was that sense of honour he has, and his integrity."

She said she arrived at work that morning to learn the company's chief financial officer had also heard the interview, and together they decided to reach out to Ibrahim. 

Posted: 01/25/2017 - 14:12

The Kingston Wing - The KEYS Job Centre is giving Syrian refugees new to Kingston a shopping experience.

KEYS Kingston is one of 31 centres across Canada that are taking part in the Canadian government’s Refugee Assistance Program and it has so far welcomed 24 Syrian families and one family from Burundi with more to come.

Nationally over the past year, approximately 35,000 Syrian refugees have arrived with the government program, with private programs bringing the total to more than 50,000 new refugees to Canada.

For the past few months, about a dozen KEYS volunteers, led by Emma Jackson, have solicited donations of other necessary household items such as pots, pans, plates, cutlery, coffee cups, glasses, linens and small appliances including toasters, coffee makers and blenders.

By appointment, the families can go there and “shop” for their needed items. They can choose the items they need but do not have to go through the final phase of shopping: paying for the items. They’re free, Jackson said.

“We’re calling it shopping because we’re trying to keep some dignity about the process and [families] being able to approve of they want instead of us just guessing and showing up with some items that might not be appropriate.”

“This whole place is run on volunteer power,” Jackson said.

Posted: 01/24/2017 - 16:00

Project Welcome - Enactus Ryerson invites Newcomer Syrians to a free Financial Literacy Workshop: Budgeting and Goal Setting (Conducted in Arabic).

The event is targeted towards newcomer Syrians in Arabic on basic financial literacy.

The module on January 19th, 2017 introduces the participants on Budgeting and Goal Setting.

Topics include:

  • Imporance of Budgeting
  • Benefits of Budgeting
  • Components of a Budget
  • SMART Goal Setting
  • Storing Financial Records

For those who attend all 5 sessions will receive a financial literacy certificate. Please do not forget to sign in at he registration desk upon arrival.

Please note that this event will be led in Arabic.

Media may be present.

Date: Sunday January 22, 2017
Time: 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m
Location: Student Learning Centre: Launch Zone (3rd Floor) 341 Yonge St. Toronto

To register please click here

If you need more information, please email us at: projectwelcome@enactusryerson.ca

Posted: 01/11/2017 - 11:54

OCASI - Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants in partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital is pleased to offer Intermediate Trauma-Focused Care: A Training for Settlement Workers Serving Refugees.

The training will help you to:

  • Increase knowledge about the specific mechanisms of trauma
  • Improve competency with identification and assessment
  • Use a specialized Tool-Kit to facilitate support
  • Increase your strategies in managing individuals in need
  • Provide structured referrals to reduce waiting-time for specialists

Note: This training is best suited to settlement workers with some pre-existing knowledge of or training in mental health and trauma. Space is limited, and we will endeavour to provide equal opportunity to all agencies in the area.

All participants who complete the course will receive a certificate of completion from OCASI.

Funded by Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration

Date: February 6, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: Dixie Bloor Neighbourhood Centre 3650 Dixie Rd, Mississauga

Registration deadline: January 23, 2017 (or once registration fills up).

To register please click here

Posted: 01/11/2017 - 09:56

Canadian Council for Refugees - One year after Syrians began to arrive in Canada as part of a major resettlement movement, newcomer-serving and private sponsorship organizations take the opportunity to salute and thank the countless Canadians who individually and collectively contributed to sponsoring and welcoming refugees.

Canada’s warm response to refugees depends on everyone doing their part: all levels of government, institutions, community organizations and individual citizens.

While sadly in many countries Syrians and others fleeing persecution are increasingly finding doors closed to them, Canadians are expressing gratitude to the Governments of Canada and Quebec, as well as to all provincial governments, for welcoming refugees to our country. In fact, many Canadians are disappointed that the government is not bringing more refugees more quickly, both from Syria and from elsewhere.

A highlight of the past year has been the close collaboration of governments at all levels, settlement sector, and voluntary and business sectors. We hope we can build on that collaboration for the future, so that we offer all newcomers the best possible chance of quick and full integration.

Posted: 12/05/2016 - 14:59

Are you a private sponsor of refugees looking for tools and information to improve the sponsorship experience? Do you wish you knew more about successful communication across cultures, or do you wish you could talk to other sponsors, sharing what you’ve experienced and learning from each other?

Refugee 613 presents a free, one-day forum designed to give Ottawa sponsors an intensive learning and sharing opportunity, featuring our partners from the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), the Coalition in Ottawa for Refugees (COR) and Local Agencies Serving Immigrants (LASI). This event is also open to volunteers working to provide government-assisted refugees with social and practical support.

A unique, interactive space for dialogue and learning will be provided for refugee sponsors. There will also be the opportunity to attend workshops, including two that will be delivered by the RSTP team, noted below:

  • Transitioning out of Sponsorship: Financially, Practically and Emotionally
  • Managing Expectations: Understanding the Ethical Dynamics of Sponsorship

The afternoon will include facilitated discussion and an information fair featuring Ottawa agencies providing key services.

Date: Saturday,December 3rd, 2016
Time: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre 1805 Gaspé Avenue, Ottawa

To register please click here

Posted: 11/30/2016 - 09:44

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), in partnership with Refugee 613, is hosting a workshop for settlement agency staff based in Ottawa. The workshops will equip settlement agency staff, including settlement workers, managers, directors and other frontline workers, with training intended to support the services provided to privately sponsored refugees and work with refugee sponsors.

The workshop will cover the following topics:

  • The role of settlement workers in private refugee sponsorship;
  • Common post-arrival challenges for privately sponsored refugees; and
  • Best practices for settlement workers when working with sponsors and privately sponsored refugees.

The workshop is open to all settlement agency staff based in Ottawa. Attendees are kindly requested to register in advance,as space is limited. Light refreshments will be provided.

Date: Thursday December 1, 2016
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
OCISO, 945 Wellington St. West, Ottawa

To register please click here

If you have any questions, please contact Melissa Scott (RSTP Trainer) at mscott@rstp.ca

Posted: 11/29/2016 - 16:52