Do you need help to navigate through the sponsorship experience?

Refugee 613 is organizing a one-day forum that will give sponsors a toolkit to be better sponsors.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Expectations Vs Reality: This workshop will lay emphasis on your expectations as a sponsor, power dynamics, maintaining healthy boundaries, and resolving conflict

  • Cross-cultural communication: how do you endeavor to communicate across cultures?

  • Trauma and mental wellness: This workshop will focus on how to spot the signs of trauma, and when and how to provide the most useful support to refugees

Date: Sunday, 4th November, 2018

Time: 9:00 a.m - 3:30 p.m

Location: University of Ottawa - Faculty of Social Sciences Building, 120 University Private, 4th Floor, Ottawa

For more information or to register for this event, please click here

Posted: 10/30/2018 - 10:19

Are you considering private sponsorship of refugees and have questions?

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) is organizing an information session that aims to give an overview on the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) in Canada.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Who can be sponsored to come to Canada?

  • Who can sponsor?

  • PSR process

  • PSR obligations and rights of sponsored refugees

  • Q&A

Date: Wednesday, 7th of November, 2018

Time: 4:00 p.m to 8 p.m EST

Location: Catholic Crosscultural Services, 3660 Hurontario Street,7th floor ,Mississauga

For more information or to register for this event, please click here

Posted: 10/30/2018 - 10:12

CBC - Kendall Dewey, 66, was desperately looking for someone to take over the commercial fishing business that had been in his family for four generations.

If Dewey Fisheries closed, shops and restaurants in the area could be left without a source of local seafood. So Dewey contacted employment agencies and scouted people locally who might have an interest.

His search was falling short until he met ​Slieman al-Jasem, a refugee from Syria who'd never cleaned a fish before — but had a knack for learning quickly and a desire to run his own company.

Dewey and his wife Joanne had been starting their days before dawn, seven days a week. They'd been spending more than 70 hours each week laying and hauling traps, weighing and processing the daily catch and meeting with suppliers and buyers.

Last year, Dewey said, they decided they were "getting too old" and wanted to retire.

The family met al-Jasem at a local diner, where they watched a documentary about his life.

After a few more meetings, they chose him as their heir to the business. 

Now al-Jasem is learning how to scale and fillet the fish, and may eventually take over the fishing license as well. In just a few days, Dewey said, al-Jasem became faster than he was at processing the catch.

To read the full article, please click here.

Posted: 10/25/2018 - 16:25

CBC NEWS - If Mohamad Almaidani has any opening day jitters, they don’t show when he picks up his straight razor.

Expertly flicking his way through the first shave of the morning, it’s easy to see how Almaidani has built a huge following in Corner Brook during the past two and a half years.

His schedule is packed with appointments for his first day in business as the owner of Mo’s Corner Barber Shop, a venture he calls “a dream.”

It’s a world away from 2016, when Almaidani, his wife and two young sons arrived in the frigid, dark expanse that is Newfoundland in February.

“I start[ed] from zero,” he recalled.

Almaidani, 35, had been a barber in his home city of Damascus for more than 17 years before he and his family fled Syria in 2012. They spent the next several years in a refugee camp in Jordan, where their youngest son was born, before an Anglican church group sponsored their relocation to Corner Brook.

“I had no money, nothing — only $300,” he said, adding he also felt culture shock on arrival.

But Almaidani did have two things: impressive barber skills, and an impressive work ethic.

About a month after the family’s arrival, Almaidani landed a job as a barber at a local salon, Silver Scissors and Spa. There, his skills quickly set him apart from just about anyone else styling men in Corner Brook.

“His haircuts looked a lot different than what you would see regularly around Corner Brook,” said Andrew Fillatre, one of Almaidani’s first clients at Silver Scissors, and the very first man through the doors at Mo’s Corner Barber Shop.

Almaidani doesn’t simply snip split ends. He begins each client’s treatment with a charcoal nose mask, adds in a warm towel facial, and is meticulous with his always-sharp blades.

That blend of old techniques and contemporary skincare caught on, and despite bouncing around between a few salons in the city, Almaidani built a loyal following.

Knowing he could count on his devoted fanbase, Almaidani was able to make the entrepreneurial leap.

“When you work so hard, and you get your dream, your own shop, it’s very nice. You feel something different, a mix of sadness, and...”

His voice trailed off as he tried to find the words to describe his bittersweet tangle of emotions that there is perhaps no easy way to sum up.

“Not too many places give strangers, or refugees [help]. I was a refugee in Jordan, I didn’t see that there,” he said.

The welcome he says he has received in Newfoundland has been overwhelming, and a relief after his family’s years of turmoil.

“Let me talk as a refugee. We are looking for safety, and nice people — that's it,” he said.

To read the full article, please click here.


Posted: 10/25/2018 - 15:32

GlobalNews- A group created by people who came to Canada as Syrian refugees is fundraising to help others in the same situation.

The group is trying to raise $50,000 via a fundraising campaign to expand its services.

“We wanted to make something useful for this beautiful city,” Loai Al Rifai, a co-founder of the Nova Scotia Syrian Society, said on Tuesday.

He came to Canada as Syrian refugee about two years ago. Al Rifai said he’s working on becoming a doctor again and wants to help other Syrian newcomers achieve their dreams.

Al Rifai said members of the group want to fund accounts to provide interest-free loans for members dealing with emergencies. They also want to offer microloans for members to start businesses or improve their education.

The group created a school last year for children. It’s housed in an apartment building’s common room and a YMCA’s room. The subjects taught include Canadian culture, Arabic culture, and computer skills, he said.

To read the full article, please click here

Posted: 10/24/2018 - 16:37

Do you need an overview of the PSR changes affecting guidelines and forms post May 1st 2018?

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program is doing a webinar focused on this subject.

Date: Thursday, 25th of October, 2018

Time: 2:00 P.M to 3:00 P.M

Please click here to register

Posted: 10/24/2018 - 10:43

What does the IRCC procedure consist of?

You could get the answer to this question by attending a free orientation organized by Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto.

This session will also tell you how to connect with the visa office throughout the whole immigration process.

Date: Wednesday, 31st of October, 2018.

Time: 5:45 P.M to 7:15 P.M.

Location: ORAT office, 1155 Yonge Street, Room 4A (4th floor), Toronto.

To register for this event, please click here.

Posted: 10/24/2018 - 10:12

The interview with the Canadian Visa Office (VO) is a milestone for you and your sponsored refugees.

After all, it means your sponsored refugee is one step closer to getting his permanent residence.

To put all the odds on your side, the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program is organizing a webinar to prepare you for the interview.

The following topics will be covered:

  • The rights of refugees during the interview

  • What to expect during the interview

  • Basic principles to stick to

  • Possible reasons for rejection

Date: Monday, 29th of October, 2018

Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 P.M EDT

To register and for more information, please click here

Posted: 10/24/2018 - 10:05

The Globe And Mail - Renowned international human-rights lawyer Irwin Cotler is nominating Syria’s famed White Helmets, a group of volunteer humanitarian workers Canada helped rescue from the war-torn country, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. Cotler, a former Liberal cabinet minister who helped co-ordinate last summer’s rescue effort with Israel, said he plans on nominating the White Helmets for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. 

The civil-defence organization, which has been credited with saving more than 100,000 civilians during Syria’s ongoing civil war, has been nominated for the international award before, but never won.

“They are the embodiment of what heroism and hope and the search for peace and our common humanity is all about,”  Mr. Cotler said in an interview with The Globe and Mail.

Canada sparked a daring overnight mission in July to evacuate 422 people – members of the White Helmets and their families – from Syria, where they faced increasing danger as the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad encircled them this summer.

The Israel Defence Forces led the rescue effort, which was done at the request of Canada, Britain and Germany, who all committed to resettling evacuees. The United States also supported the operation.

To read the full article, please click here.

Posted: 10/23/2018 - 11:55

CBC - For Sharmarke Dubow, a refugee from Somalia, the Victoria municipal elections over the weekend were a groundbreaking day — he cast a vote for the first time and was elected city councillor.

"The first time to cast a vote but also be elected is so overwhelming. For me, this means a lot," Dubow said.

Dubow fled Somalia as a child and lived in Ethiopia and Cairo before coming to Canada. He gained Canadian citizenship last year.

"For 20 years, I did not have a citizenship, so coming to Canada was the most important thing in my life."

Since being in Canada, Dubow has focused his work locally on helping resettle and integrate refugees and other newcomers to Canada with the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria.

"I bring perspective as someone who didn't grow up here," he told Gregor Craigie, the host of CBC's On The Island.

To read the full article, please click here.

Posted: 10/23/2018 - 11:45