Newcomers and volunteers working together to build more welcoming communities.
Please click here to download our new language practice guide that we have created to help volunteers navigate online language practice sessions with newcomers. It’s based on best practices and experiences of Welcome Groups, tips from professional language tutors, and other language instructors we’ve interviewed across the GTA. A special thank you to the McConnell Foundation / Innoweave for their generous support in developing this resource.
If we recognize that our well being is linked to the well being of others, our collective efforts to promote and encourage community building and a sense of belonging for newcomers and Canadians alike is critical to a positive, healthy future. Newcomers may be feeling particularly isolated due to COVID-19, especially if they are very new to Canada. They can’t explore their neighbourhoods or meet their neighbours. But they can meet remotely with volunteers who care about their well-being, about inclusion, diversity, and the future. There is so much heart for the work and now we have found a new way to allow bridges to be built, strengthening an overall sense of compassion and understanding. We are stronger together. Read more here.Read More
If you are a Welcome Group volunteer matched with a refugee claimant household in Toronto or Mississauga, please see our updated list of resources regarding legal assistance, health services, shelter, and housing support services, employment and volunteering, language acquisition, education and accreditation, women’s services, children and youth services and available social supports. This document also contains information for refugee claimant matches on food banks, LGBTQ services, household supplies and technology. For supports related specifically to COVID-19, please click here.
Nicholas Keung of the Toronto Star interviews Together Project’s co-directors and match participants on why it is so important for volunteers to offer remote social support in response to COVID-19. “Maintaining social contact is a major challenge for all, but newcomers, particularly refugees, are among the most vulnerable. We want to ensure they have access to accurate information and social connection.” Read more here.
Please see our new COVID-19 Resources page for information on how to offer remote social support to vulnerable newcomers while maintaining social distance and updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, especially in relation to Together Project’s Welcome Group program.
Topics may include tips on what social distancing looks like in a Welcome Group match, steps that all levels of government are taking to protect residents, suggestions about how to keep kids and adults engaged while staying at home, and anticipated changes in access to refugee services. Read more here.
At the beginning of the year, we launched a new volunteer outreach campaign called “25 in 2020.” Our goal was to engage volunteers from each of Toronto’s 25 wards and we have officially met this goal in just three months! We are also reaching volunteers in 9 of the 11 wards in Peel Region. We would like to thank the 10 city councillors and executive assistants we have met with, who have helped us raise awareness and encourage volunteers to get involved in building more welcoming communities. These councillors are: Councillor Carroll, Ford, Holyday, Layton, Karygiannis, Matlow, Nunziata, Perruzza, Robinson, and Wong-Tam. Thank you also to the Toronto Foundation for your communications support! Stay tuned as we continue to expand our volunteer reach across Toronto and Mississauga!