Newcomers and volunteers working together to build more welcoming communities.
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.
We would like to thank TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for providing invaluable support for our Urban Nature Access Pass Program for Refugee Newcomers. Activities in 2020 will include a winter, spring, summer and fall nature-focused event to introduce refugee newcomers to Toronto’s parks and green spaces. The purpose of these events is to encourage newcomer households to explore local and city-wide destination parks, to engage in environmental stewardship activities, and to connect with volunteers. If you would like to volunteer for our upcoming 2020 events, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keynote speaker and refugee newcomer from South Sudan, James Thuch Madhier, stood before the crowd at Together Project’s 2019 Fundraiser and spoke about resilience and freedom against all odds. At 15 years-old, Madhier lived in Kakuma Refugee Camp, which he described as one of the harshest places on earth. At the camp, he learned about the power of having a place called home. “I learned how important it is for each and every individual in this room to call himself or herself, Canadian and to actually understand what comes with that – the immense privilege,” he said. ” The term, ‘refugee’ refers to a temporary status but then how temporary is it for people who are refugees for 20, 30, or 40 years? How temporary is that?.” Read the full story in the Toronto Observer.
I have a much stronger connection to Syria than I did before and it’s more important to me now in a whole new way. I think of my Together Project match as my extended family, which is so lovely to have. I think it’s so important for everyone to have people in their life who are outside of their sphere of comfort or knowledge. This experience is very humbling and has been important for everyone involved.Read More
New report from the Transatlantic Council on Migration finds that “the rapid rise in the numbers of arriving humanitarian migrants has been matched by an equally unprecedented outpouring of public support, with offers to volunteer or provide donations…. While volunteer efforts cannot replace specialized social service agencies or well-resourced social assistance programs, they offer unique resources that can be an invaluable complement to the services that professional agencies and case workers provide.”Read More