Please join Kailee Brennan from Refugee hub and RSTP for a webinar on the BVOR fund facilitated by University of Ottawa Refugee Hub and the Shapiro Foundation, together with Jewish Family Services Ottawa. 

The Webinar will cover the following:

  • Description of the BVOR Fund and process
  • Who is paying for this fund?
  • What does the BVOR Fund cover?
  • Who is eligible to apply to this fund?
  • How can sponsor groups apply to the fund?

Date: Tuesday August 28, 2018
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ES

To register please click here

Posted: 08/24/2018 - 16:29

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program invites you to a webinar - The PSR Program: Preparing for Month 13.

Topics covered:

  • when should sponsors start preparing for Month 13
  • what to consider when preparing newcomers for Month 13
  • services available for sponsored newcomers in Month 13
  • evaluating the sponsorship; and
  • the post-sponsorship relationship

Date: August 29, 2018
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EDT

To register please click here

Posted: 08/24/2018 - 16:11

Guelph Today - The owners and all the employees at Shawarma.G in the Speedvale Plaza came to Canada as refugees

Seven years ago Walaa Allaf was walking late at night in Downtown Guelph.

Shawarma.G, located in the Speedvale Plaza, is co-owned by Allaf and fellow Syrian refugee Bassam Alkhaledi. All nine employees of the business are also Syrian refugees.

"Some, like me, have been here a few years. Others not so long. One of our cooks has only been here for 32 days," Allaf says.

He says sometimes refugees struggle to find work.

"They want to work, but found it difficult finding jobs," he says. "Our goal was to give refugees a place to work."

Read full article

Posted: 08/23/2018 - 14:59

Winnipeg Free Press - In Damascus, where he owned two restaurants, Elias Haddad was the executive chef who didn't do the day-to-day cooking. In Winnipeg, he's back in the kitchen, cooking up a storm for 300 refugee kids every weekday this summer.

On Wednesday, baked chicken was on the menu — one of the favourites of the children and youth at the Kurdish Initiative for Refugees.

The summer day camp is run by resettled Syrian Kurds but attended youth aged five to 24 from 18 countries.  The federally funded program began in 2016 with the surge of Syrian arrivals in Manitoba, said founder Nour Ali. It's grown from 35 kids the first summer to 350 this year at two sites in Winnipeg and one in Brandon, Man.

For Majd Hamrasho, 15, who arrived in Canada with his family 15 months ago, it's safe and structured fun. He belongs to one of six refugee families living on Dufferin Avenue who were in the news last September after being harassed, threatened and told they're not welcome in Canada.

Now Majd and his family live in North Kildonan where he attends the summer youth program at Douglas Mennonite Church and volunteers.

"I'm here to have fun and play with kids," said Majd who could only say "hi" and "bye" in English when he arrived in Canada. "I help organize activities," he said.

"He's really a role model," said the Kurdish Initiative for Refugees' founder, Ali. The former journalist, businessman and resettled Syrian refugee has children of his own and says the summer camp is providing learning and recreational opportunities for refugee kids who would otherwise be at home watching TV or left at loose ends. Instead, they've had a chance to experience places like the Assiniboine Park Zoo, Fun Mountain and Kildonan Park that connect them to their city.

"We want them to integrate and accept everybody," Ali said over blaring hip-hop music in the church basement where boys and girls were line dancing. In the next room, the youngest kids sat in a big circle on the floor for a hand-slapping English-language counting game.

The program is helping kids with their communication skills while giving adults like chef Haddad the Canadian work experience that employers want, said Ali. It's teaching teens like Majd leadership and English language skills, and it's also providing jobs for young adult refugees.

Read full article

Posted: 08/23/2018 - 14:52

CBC News - Private donors helping with financial commitment to sponsor up to 1,000 refugees

The administrators of a private fund to help sponsor 1,000 refugees to come to Canada this yearare encouraging people to organize in the next month to take advantage of the money.

About 80 people attended an information session at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Ottawa to learn more about what they would need to do to help people resettle in Canada.

Stephane Telka said a group of friends were talking about forming a sponsorship group and having access to financial support made a big difference.

"It was a game changer," he said.

"I'm not sure if we would've had the time and the energy and the resources to do the fundraising."

The fund was created by the University of Ottawa Refugee Hub, Jewish Family Services Ottawa, an anonymous Canadian donor and the Shapiro Foundation, an American charity.

The refugees would be identified and screened by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and the money will fully cover the financial commitment of sponsorship groups. 

'Why not help?'

However, sponsorship is a serious time commitment — nearly around the clock during the first few months, according to speakers at Thursday's event, including finding housing, schooling and responding to various emergencies.

"They're not just coming to volunteer a bit of their time to support a family," said Kailee Brennan, outreach coordinator for the hub.

"They're going to welcome that family, they're going to prepare their home with them together, they're going to show them how to ride a bus, where to buy groceries, how to open a bank account, get a health card and register for school."

Deadline September 17, 2018

Potential sponsors have until Sept. 17 to get organized because that's the government's deadline for approving blended visas for this year. 

Groups who had sponsored refugees before also attended the meeting, as well as representatives of local churches who are trying to organize within their congregations.

Posted: 08/23/2018 - 14:06

Refugee Sponsorship Training Program invites you to a webinar - The PSR Program: Adding Dependents Post-Submission and Updating Applications.

Topics covered:

  • the importance of keeping IRCC up-to-date with any changes in circumstances
  • who to contact and when
  • how to add dependents post-submission.

Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EDT

To register please click here

Posted: 08/02/2018 - 16:17

Refugee Sponsorship Training Program invites you to a webinar: The PSR Program: How to Prepare and Submit a Successful Application Package.

Topics covered:

  • an overview of the application process
  • recent updates and changes to processing
  • who can be included on one application package
  • what supporting documents need to be included in the application package
  • completing the forms for Groups of Five
  • completing the forms for Community Sponsors
  • proof of funds requirements
  • completing the refugees’ forms.

Date: Friday, August 10, 2018
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. MDT

To register please click here

Posted: 08/02/2018 - 16:12

Refugee Sponsorship Training Program invites you to a webinar: The PSR Program: Who Can Sponsor and Who Can be Sponsored.

Topics covered:

  • who can sponsor under the PSR program
  • who can be sponsored; refugee status documents
  • what are they and who needs them
  • an overview of sponsors’ financial and settlement responsibilities under the PSR program

Date: Thursday, August 9, 2018
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM MDT

To register please click here

Posted: 08/02/2018 - 16:08

Refugee Sponsorship Training Program invites you to a webinar: Introduction to Canada’s Refugee Sponsorship Programs.

Topics covered:

  • an overview of Canada’s refugee sponsorship programs
  • the history and launch of the PSR program
  • the PSR program as part of global resettlement efforts. Registration

 Friday, August 3, 2018
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. MDT

To register please click here

Posted: 08/02/2018 - 16:04

Refugee Sponsorship Training Program invites you to a webinar: Financial Planning for PSR.

This webinar will walk you through the financial planning and education in the context of post arrival ( PSR), it will shed some light on:

  • sponsor-refugee decision making on financial support and expenditure
  • cultural aspect of spending and use of mone
  • awareness on market targeting of new comers and how they contribute to common mistakes during the first year after arrival and beyond.

Date: Friday, August 24, 2018
Time: 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. EDT

To register please click here

Posted: 08/02/2018 - 15:58