Newcomers and volunteers working together to build more welcoming communities.
Having done a lot of work from the perspective of new citizens who have been in Canada for a number of years, I’m interested in the experience of people who have just arrived. The days of waiting a generation for an immigrant or refugee to feel a sense of belonging are over. These days, we need methods and means that really accelerate integration and inclusion. There are huge benefits for Canadians to participate in programs like the Welcome Group program. There is something so tangible and empowering about making a difference in the lives of people you come to know well. The responsibility of making people feel like they belong is no longer left just to arrivals but it is also the responsibility of the receiving community, whether that is a community of corporate volunteers, a sports team, a faith group or a group of neighbours and friends. Read moreRead More
Dr. Juanne Nancarrow Clarke, professor of anthropology and sociology at Wilfred Laurier University, and Taylor Marlow, M.A. graduate in sociology, have just published new research on the needs, challenges, and best practices in refugee sponsorship and resettlement in Canada. Their research found an “outpouring of care, commitment and organizing [which] demonstrates the potential capacity of volunteers to fill gaps in the Government and community services available for newcomers in Canada.” One of their five examples of innovative approaches in the sector was Together Project’s Welcome Group Model. The researchers say Together Project “demonstrates the creative ways that the private sponsorship approach (connecting citizens with refugees during initial resettlement) can be effectively adapted to other streams of newcomers.” Read more of their findings here: http://bit.ly/2RELGPD
This manual empowers volunteers with an overview of the knowledge and tools most useful in providing social support to refugee claimants. The manual is divided into four sections: 1) the refugee claimant journey and the volunteer role 2) concepts of voluntary and humanitarian work 3) managing expectations and 4) how the program works. Download the manual here.
Welcome Groups for Refugee Claimants one-year pilot program, with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. We are currently seeking groups of five or more volunteers in the Greater Toronto Area to be matched with a refugee claimant youth (ages 18-25), single parent household, or large family for six months of social support. To learn more about how you can volunteer to form a Welcome Group, please email email@example.com.
People sometimes talk about refugee issues like they are experts. I don’t think, until you see what folks go through in their daily lives, you can really understand, or even begin to understand the challenges and odds newcomers are up against.Read More
Together Project is launching a new volunteer outreach campaign called, “25 in 2020”. Our goal is to engage volunteers in our Welcome Group program from each of Toronto’s 25 wards. In the fall of 2019, we recruited volunteers in 13 of the 25 wards, as well as Mississauga. In order to reach our goal of volunteer engagement in all 25 wards, we will work with city councillors to help raise awareness, develop community leadership, and encourage volunteers to get involved in building more welcoming communities. Follow along for the next year as we work on this Together Project city-building initiative. To start a Welcome Group in your ward, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Together Project is pleased to announce our new Welcome Groups for Refugee Claimants one-year pilot program, with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. We are currently seeking groups of five or more volunteers in the Greater Toronto Area to be matched with a refugee claimant youth (ages 18-25), single parent household, or families of four or more for six months of social support. To foster social connections, Together Project works with refugee claimants to establish newcomer-defined priorities for the match that will help create a common purpose and shared goals as an underpinning for social connection. The success of the match will be measured based on a newcomer-defined perception of an increase in social connection and a decrease in social isolation. Volunteers receive training and support. Please refer to our volunteer training manual and refugee claimant resource listing here. To register a Welcome Group, click here. Please email email@example.com to learn more.