Canadian Immigrant - When the Hadhad family arrived in Canada along with thousands of other Syrian refugees, they had one dream; to find peace.

For more than 20 years, the family had run a successful chocolate business in Damascus, but it was destroyed in a bombing in 2012. After fleeing Syria, they spent nearly three years living in a refugee camp in Lebanon before arriving in Canada in December 2015.

Shortly after their arrival, they were invited to a community potluck in their new home town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and brought the one item they viewed as a symbol of celebration: chocolate.

They made the first pieces in their home kitchen, the same way they started in Syria back in 1986. The chocolates were met with resounding praise by the community.

Their Canadian chocolate business, Peace by Chocolate, was born soon after and has became a prime example of what happens when a community comes together to support newcomers’ dream and ambitions.

The Hadhad family’s story caught international attention when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned them at the United Nations in February 2016.

“Everyone wanted to know what are the Syrians doing? That made me realize it’s really time for me to stand out and send a positive message,” says Tareq Hadhad, general manager of Peace by Chocolate.

To read the full story, please click here.  

Posted: 10/17/2018 - 11:15

Reuniting refugees who are in Canada with their family members who are abroad can be a long and tedious process.

How do you make sure that this process is done correctly to avoid delays?

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) will try to answer this question through a workshop.

The following topics will be covered:

  • IRCC’s definition of family
  • Adult children
  • De facto dependants
  • One Year Window Of Opportunity Provision (OYW)

Date: Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

Time: 7:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m EDT

Location: Trinity United Church, Friendship Hall, 20 FIRST AVE, Uxbridge

For more information, please contact Inas Hamid (Ontario RSTP trainer) by phone at 905.273.4140 ext. 6239 or email at ihamid@rstp.ca.

Posted: 10/15/2018 - 11:52

Recognizing and appropriately treating mental health problems among refugees can be challenging.

To help address this problem, Hong Fook Mental Health Association is organizing a mental health training workshop.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Understanding the impacts of trauma on an individual’s mental health

  • Recognizing the influences of culture, cultural identity, stigma on refugees’ mental health

  • Cultural assessment and culturally competent care plan to assist refugees

Date: Wednesday, 24th of October, 2018

Time: 9:30 a.m

Location: 9100 Jane Street, Building H, Units 56-67, Vaughan

For more information and to register, please click here

Posted: 10/15/2018 - 11:45

Are you a private sponsor who is wondering how to help the refugee that you sponsored integrate the Canadian society?

Search no more! The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) is organizing a webinar focused on why it is important to manage expectations, power imbalance, ethical considerations and why it is essential to connect newcomers with a settlement agency.

To register for the webinar, please click here.

Posted: 10/15/2018 - 10:01

Refugee Sponsorship entails a number of responsibilities.

Namely: moral, financial, and legal responsibilities toward the sponsored refugee.

To ensure the positive outcome of sponsorship, the Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT) is organizing a Pre-Arrival session for private sponsors who already received a Notice of Arrival Transmission (NAT).  

Sponsors will receive last preparatory information to be prepared for the arrival and pick up at the airport.

Date: Friday, 26th of October 2018

Time: 5:45 p.m to 7:15 p.m EDT

Location: ORAT-Office for Refugees Archdiocese of Toronto, 1155 Yonge Street, Room 4A (4th floor), Toronto

To register for this event or for more information, please click here



Posted: 10/15/2018 - 09:54

Did you already submit an application for sponsorship and need to update some information? Rest assured!

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) is organizing a webinar focused on how to update information that you have already submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

The following topics will be covered:

  • Why it is important to keep IRCC in the loop in the event of changes in circumstances
  • Who to contact and when
  • How to add dependents after having submitted the application

Date: Friday, 19th of October 2018

Time: 1p.m to 2:00 p.m EDT

To register for the webinar, please click here.

Posted: 10/10/2018 - 14:11

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) is organizing an Introduction to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (IET101) online course.

This training targets refugee sponsors, staff members of NGOs, inter-governmental agencies, settlement service providers, and people interested in sponsoring refugees.  

 By the end of ten weeks of intensive course, students are expected to have a solid understanding of the Canadian Private Refugees Sponsorship program (PSR). In addition to having acquired an awareness of the international context in which the PSR operates.

Breakdown of the course:

1.       Reading materials: the reading materials of this course have 8 units. By the end of each unit, students will have a multiple choice quiz  and will have to discuss a question posted in the discussion forum

2.       Quiz: There will be 8 multiple choice quizzes in total. However, to take each week’s quiz, the previous quiz must have been completed. Each quiz consists of 15 multiple choice questions.  The 8 quizzes make up 50% of the final grade. Students will have one week to read the unit’s materials and complete the quiz.

3.       Final exam: Once all the quizzes are done, there will be a culminating assessment. The final exam consists of 50 multiple choice and True/False questions. The final exam is worth 50% of the grades.

4.       Discussion forum: A discussion question will be posted weekly to engage students with the course material. Participation is not mandatory, however students can get ¼ of bonus point per participation

5.       Webinar: There are 4 webinars in total. Students will receive an invitation and a registration link to join the webinar in advance.

Students must note that in order to succeed, they have to get at least 60%. Those who pass the course will get a certificate of completion from RSTP. They will also have the opportunity to take the Advanced (AET201) online course. Both courses are free of charge.

Start date: Monday, October 15th, 2018

Time: 1p.m EDT

Please note that the deadline for the registration is Friday October 12th 2018

To register for this course, please click here.

After having registered for the course, please email etraining@rstp.ca to confirm that your registration has been completed and that you intend to register for the Fall 2018 Session.

Posted: 10/10/2018 - 14:04

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) is organizing a webinar focused on how to submit an application that will most likely put all the odds on your side.

The webinar will give an outline of the following application process:

  • What supporting documents need to be included in the application package
  • Completing the forms for Groups of Five
  • Completing the forms for Community Sponsors
  • The requirements for proof of funds
  • Completing the refugees’ forms.  

Date: Tuesday, 16th of October 2018

Time: 1:00 p.m to 2:30 p.m EDT

To register for the webinar, please click here.

Posted: 10/10/2018 - 10:44

Constituent Groups (CG) are invited to assist to a Job readiness session organized by the Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT).

This session aims to help newcomers work in Canada.

Participants will have information like work plan for integration, education and upgrading skills and work.

Needs assessment, resume writing, employment workshops, and job search workshops are also part of the session.

Date: Tuesda, 16th of October 2018

Time: 10:30 a.m to 12:00 p.m

Location: Office for Refugees Archdiocese of Toronto, 1220 Yonge Street, suite 203 (2nd floor), Toronto

To register or for more information, please click here.

Posted: 10/10/2018 - 10:37

Private sponsorship should not be taken lightly. To help you have a grasp of your responsibilities as a sponsor, Office For Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT) is organizing a General Integration Training.

This training aims to give you some knowledge on the needs of refugees, how to manage their expectations all while building trust and setting the rules of support.

By the end of this workshop, you will be equipped with the necessary tools to ensure the successful integration of refugees.

Date: Saturday, 13th of October 2018

Time: 1:30 p.m to 3:00 p.m

Location: ORAT Office, 1220 Yonge Street, Toronto

To register for this event or for more information, please click here

Posted: 10/04/2018 - 14:24