Updates

Halton Community Legal Services is hosting free workshops to refugee sponsors, groups and organizations supporting refugees.

Come and learn how to improve your advocacy skills to assist refugees in their resettlement.

The workshops will also explore how to overcome a lack of Canadian experience in job seeking and what is available if financial independence is not established by the end of the sponsorships.

The legal clinic Mental Health Community Support Worker will lead a session on strategies to support refugees to meet the demands of settlement when they are dealing with the trauma of their recent experiences and are worried about family reunification.

Representatives from the Halton Newcomer Strategy will also be present to share resources.

Dates: Sept. 15, 22, 29 & Oct. 6, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Oakville - Halton Regional Administration Centre, 1151 Bronte Rd.

The Workshop is free, however registration is required. Register by calling Halton Community Legal Services at 905-875-2069 or by emailing Sarah at stewarts@lao.on.ca

Posted: 09/14/2016 - 11:16

Halton Community Legal Services is hosting free workshops to refugee sponsors, groups and organizations supporting refugees.

Come and learn how to improve your advocacy skills to assist refugees in their resettlement.

The workshops will also explore how to overcome a lack of Canadian experience in job seeking and what is available if financial independence is not established by the end of the sponsorships.

The legal clinic Mental Health Community Support Worker will lead a session on strategies to support refugees to meet the demands of settlement when they are dealing with the trauma of their recent experiences and are worried about family reunification.

Representatives from the Halton Newcomer Strategy will also be present to share resources.

Dates: Sept. 10, 17, 24 & Oct. 1, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Burlington- Alton Library Branch 3040 Tim Bobbie Dr.

The Workshop is free, however registration is required. Register by calling Halton Community Legal Services at 905-875-2069 or by emailing Sarah at stewarts@lao.on.ca

Posted: 09/14/2016 - 11:10

The Record Kitchener - Thousands of Waterloo Region's Muslims celebrated one of biggest holidays in the Islamic calendar at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Monday, with a special embrace for their newest Syrian additions.

With bouncy castles, a kids' train, rock climbing, basketball battles and games of bean bag toss, the Eid celebrations had a carnival atmosphere. Excited kids zigzagged through the crowd, hopped up on cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn.

But the celebrations, marked by a diverse local Muslim community that has roots in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and beyond, had an especially Syrian touch this year — a deliberate attempt to welcome the region's 1,200 new Canadian Syrian refugees.

For many of them, this would be their first or second Eid celebration in Canada.

"If you're standing at Homer Watson and Ottawa, you wouldn't even know it's Eid. So we hoped this would help them feel a little bit of 'back home' in their new country," said Faisal Raja, a spokesperson for this year's festivities.

"If you're a newer person, and not quite integrated, you could feel quite lonely for the holiday."

Organizers brought in Canadian-Syrian acts to complement other performers in the daylong variety show — which included standup comedy, trivia, a reptile show, songs by Ilyas Mao, a Canadian singer of Somali heritage, and Fatima Attia, a spoken-word artist from Wilfrid Laurier University.

When Syrian folk dance group A'rada took the stage, the crowd danced and clapped and pulled out their phones to record the performance. Syrian teen group Sham also had people on their feet.

A sponsorship program organized through the local chapter of the Muslim Association of Canada covered the costs of admission for Syrian refugee families, and gave them free food and drinks, said organizer Nabila Zizi.

Posted: 09/14/2016 - 10:06

The Star.com - Moose Jaw, SASK. - A number of Syrian refugees are helping out with a community harvest in Moose Jaw, Sask., saying it is a way of giving back to the country that has taken them in.

The second annual Mosaic Community Food Farm harvest is a collaboration between the potash mining company and advocacy groups such as Hunger in Moose Jaw, Riverside Mission, Moose Jaw and District Food Bank and Tree Canada.

The food farm, located in Moose Jaw’s Wakamow Valley, was created to help sustainably feed vulnerable populations in the city.

This season, it yielded just over 1,300 kg of potatoes and carrots, among other produce.

Celeste Geisbauer, Mosaic’s senior community investment specialist, says it’s been a real bonus to have the Syrian refugees take part and learn what kind of vegetables can be grown in Saskatchewan.

Farming is nothing new for refugee Mohammed Aboukhir.

“I have farmed in (Syria) before, and I worked more than 20 years - all week and weekend - at my farm,” said Aboukhir. “All my family likes to farm.”

Having arrived in Saskatchewan just six months ago, Aboukhir was eager to find ways to give back.

“Canada gave me a lot of things for me and my children,” he explained. “Now, (I’m trying) to do something for Canada.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Ahmad Alkhaldi, who also comes from Syria.

“It’s very important for us at least to show the people that we are able to do something - make a difference,” said Alkhaldi.

He said being in the garden also reminds him of home.

Posted: 09/09/2016 - 14:31

The event is targeted towards newcomer Syrians in Arabic on basic financial literacy. This workshop will be the fourth (out of 5) of our Arabic financial literacy series.

The module on September 7th, 2016 introduces the participants to Paying For School in Canada.

Paying for School:

  • Scholarships and Awards
  • Government Student Loans
  • Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)
  • How to Apply for OSAP
  • Interest Rates on OSAP
  • Loans vs. Grants
  • Eligible Loans and Grant Programs
  • Canada Student Grants
  • Other Sources for Grant
  • Student Loan Repayment
  • Repayment Assistance Plan

The event will ensure that Syrians are accommodated by providing a child care room during the event. The childcare room will have fun activities for the Syrian kids such as arts and crafts, snacks, games, food, and etc. There is also a room booked to provide for Syrians who are looking to pray after the workshop is completed.

Free food will be served!

Registration for the event begins at 6:00 p.m.

For those who attend ALL 5 of our sessions will receive a financial literacy certificate! Please do not forget to sign in at the registration desk upon arrival.

Please note that all of these events will be taught and led in Arabic.

If you need more information or the eventbrite details in Arabic to show the Syrian families what is listed on this eventbrite, please email us at: projectwelcome@enactusryerson.ca

Date: Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Location: Student Learning Center (SLC), Room: Launch Zone 3rd Floor - 341 Yonge Street, Toronto.

To register please click here

Posted: 08/25/2016 - 16:42

CTV News - Fourteen-year-old Dayeh, from Aleppo, Syria, arrived in Canada with his mother and sister, and was given the chance to attend summer camp after his sponsor approached him. Summer camp, for many Canadian kids, is almost seen as a rite of passage.

“The sponsor asked me, ‘You want to go camping?’ I said yes, why not?” said Dayeh.

Multiple camps throughout Ontario offered free spots in their camps to the Ontario Camps Association this summer. The association then matched refugee kids between the ages of 4-15 to camps that they wanted to attend, for free.

Kids were able to choose from day and overnight camps, one week and multi-week camps and different activity-specific camps. Dayeh chose an overnight summer camp near Parry Sound, Ont., giving him a chance to learn how to canoe and play different sports like basketball and volleyball.

According to Dayeh, he made more friends at camp than he did during his half year at school. He also hopes that more refugee children will take advantage of the Ontario summer camp program and get to experience what he did.

Now, Dayeh said, Canada has become his home.

Posted: 08/19/2016 - 12:54

Ensuring appropriate supports for the successful integration of Syrian newcomer youth.

In late 2015 and early 2016, close to five thousand Syrian refugees have been resettled to Toronto. More than half of them are children and youth.

Newcomer youth have particular needs that require intentional service coordination and provision to allow for their successful settlement and meaningful integration into Canadian society.

What are the challenges and barriers to settlement and integration that Syrian newcomer youth may be facing and what are the opportunities to address them?

Join us for:

  • Opening remarks by Councillor Joe Mihevc, City of Toronto Newcomer Advocate
  • Panel discussion, moderated by Debbie Douglas from OCASI, highlighting perspectives on history of settlement services for youth by Ibrahim Absiye from CultureLink, health and mental health by Dr. Branka Agic from CAMH, and education by Marcia Powers-Dunlop from TDSB
  • Public discussion

This Open Dialogue is hosted by the City of Toronto Newcomer Office.

Date: Friday 26th, August, 2016
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Toronto City Hall Members' Lounge 100 Queen St. West.

To register please click here or email at: mamarsi@toronto.ca

Posted: 08/18/2016 - 11:59

The Information Session 2: Settlement Training Workshop is a seminar for sponsors/parishioners who are in the process of planning in expectation of the refugee's arrival to Canada.

Parish refugee volunteers and sponsors learn more about budgeting, the needs of refugees and the best way to manage their expectations, while building trust and setting the rules of support.

The workshop is a training opportunity for refugee committees to develop effective tools to integrate newcomers successfully in their church communities.

All parish refugee volunteers and sponsors involved in helping to resettle refugees sponsored in the Archdiocese of Toronto are required to participate in this training workshop.

Date: Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EDT) 
Location: 830 Bathurst Street - upstairs in the St. Paul Classroom, Toronto, Ontario M5R 3G1

To register please click here

 

Posted: 08/16/2016 - 16:27

The Information Session 2: Settlement Training Workshop is a seminar for sponsors/parishioners who are in the process of planning in expectation of the refugee's arrival to Canada.

Parish refugee volunteers and sponsors learn more about budgeting, the needs of refugees and the best way to manage their expectations, while building trust and setting the rules of support.

The workshop is a training opportunity for refugee committees to develop effective tools to integrate newcomers successfully in their church communities.

All parish refugee volunteers and sponsors involved in helping to resettle refugees sponsored in the Archdiocese of Toronto are required to participate in this training workshop.

Date: Wednesday, 21 September 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (EDT) 
Location: 830 Bathurst Street - upstairs in the St. Paul Classroom, Toronto, Ontario M5R 3G1 

To register please click here

 

Posted: 08/16/2016 - 16:25

CBC News Kitchener Waterloo - With school just a few weeks away, many Syrian refugees in the Region of Waterloo will be getting ready to start their first-ever school year in Canada.

Because of the war, many adolescent refugees have large gaps their formal education resulting in limited literacy skills both in their mother tongue and in English.

To address this, Kristiina Montero, an associate professor in the faculty of education at Wilfrid Laurier University, helped develop an English Literacy Development (ELD) program at Eastwood Collegiate High School in Kitchener.

Now with six classes, Eastwood has become the magnet site for refugee students to access the program.

Not ESL, ELD

Unlike the English as a Second Language (ESL), Montero says the ELD can be looked as a first step to learning English literacy because it uses the same method of guided reading that is used when young children are learning how to read. But with a twist that recognizes the age and maturity of the students.

Posted: 08/15/2016 - 15:35

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