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

Why do some sponsorships succeed while others fail?

What if cultural differences were the root of the disputes?

How do private sponsors and refugees navigate through cultural differences to meet halfway?

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) will try to answer these answers through a webinar.

The following topics will be covered:

  • Dimensions of culture

  • Aspects of cultural differences

  • Gender Roles

  • Family dynamics

  • Linguistic and non-linguistic communication

  • Differences within the “similarly perceived cultures”

  • Refugee experience

  • Where do we meet?

Date: Wednesday, 31st of November, 2018

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

To register for this webinar, please click here.


Posted: 10/23/2018 - 09:36

ChekNews - William Goldiet fled Sudan in 1994 and lived, initially, as an illegal migrant in Lebanon.

“If I remained [in Sudan], I don’t know if I could have been alive today or if I would’ve been dead,” Goldiet said. “Because I know many people who lost their lives.”

He became a refugee shortly after arriving in Beirut and spent the next 15-and-a-half years of his life in Lebanon.

Finally, two churches sponsored him to come to Canada.

“It’s very hard,” he said. “Losing people you grew up with… and then you find yourself in a strange country where you know nobody.”

Despite the freedoms promised here, it was not an easy decision to leave his community behind.

“When you lose your community, it’s a great loss,” he said. “We have a saying in Africa: ‘I am who I am because of who we all are.’ So when you lose that community, you become powerless.”

He eventually became a settlement worker for the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria.

To read full article, please click here.

Posted: 10/22/2018 - 14:53

What should sponsors consider when the sponsorship period comes to an end?

When should they start preparing for month 13?

Moreover, what services and financial assistance are available to newcomers once they are “left on their own”?

These are the kind of questions that the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) will try to answer through a webinar.

Date: Tuesday, 30th of october, 2018

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

To register for this webinar, please click here.

Posted: 10/22/2018 - 10:09


Do you need to find legal information or you need assistance to address your legal problems? RSTP’s partner the refugee Sponsorship Program (Refugee SSP) is organizing a legal Clinic on the 30th of October in Toronto.

At this legal clinic, Refugee SSP will offer free refugee sponsorship application support services from their RSTP trained pro bono lawyers.

Consequently, people will be able to get assistance with their SAHs, Group of Five, Community sponsors, as well as One-Year window applications.

To register, please contact Refugee SSP via email at: refugeessptoronto@gmail.com by October 23, 2018 with some information about the type of assistance you are seeking.

Posted: 10/18/2018 - 11:25

TheStar- Since its 2016 inception, Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) has vetted and developed skill profiles for more than 10,000 refugees now in Lebanon and Jordan — 30 per cent of them with an undergrad degree or above and half with intermediate to full English proficiency.

With an established — and still expanding — talent pool as well as backing from the United Nations Refugee Agency, the project has reached out to Canadian employers and is using Canada as the testing ground to bring in skilled refugees on work permits and maybe even as permanent residents.

TBB is partnering with the Canadian government, the UN and RefugePoint, an agency that promotes refugee resettlement and self-reliance, to divert refugees in Kenya and the Middle East to Canada through a pilot program.

The pilot has the support of Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and the Yukon.

All candidates must go through the same stringent requirements to qualify.

Kris Braun, Bonfire’s director of engineering, said the company is looking to double its size and would require a number of talented software developers, who are in short supply.

“Canada’s tech industry is growing at a fast rate and we struggle to find good (job) candidates,” he said.

“Refugees are trying to rebuild their lives after fleeing wars and conflicts. Part of it is to hold meaningful work. This is a win-win for us.”

To read full article, please click here

Posted: 10/17/2018 - 16:52

TheStar -  It seemed an insurmountable challenge for a Regent Park church congregation to come up with $12,000 for nine plane tickets from Burundi to Toronto, let alone for a penniless refugee living in a shelter.

Members of St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church were faced with this daunting task this summer when they learned a parishioner’s husband and eight children were granted permanent residence visas to join her in Canada but she couldn’t afford to fly them over.

“We were amazed how quickly they were willing to engage in a conversation with us, and willing and able to act for the family immediately,” said Father Walter Hannam of St. Bartholomew’s, who added that without Miles4Migrants it would have been impossible to achieve all this before the visas expired.

Jill Aitken, a parishioner at St. Bartholomew’s, said Miles4Migrants ended up covering seven plane tickets while she and her husband paid for one, and the refugee woman herself insisted on scraping money together for the remaining ticket.
Please click here to read the full article

Posted: 10/17/2018 - 16:30

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