Together Project
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CENTRING NEWCOMER VOICES – Focus Group Series

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In Spring 2021, Together Project hosted three focus groups with 20 newcomers about our communications and how to best center newcomer voices within them. Participants were recruited from within our Welcome Group matches, as well as from outside the program. We appreciate all the feedback they provided and would like to share some of the main takeaways and suggestions.

MAIN TAKEAWAYS:

  • Attendees were generally satisfied with Together Project’s communications  and reiterated the need to share content across all main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn) to connect with newcomers on whatever social media they use.
  • The content we are creating and sharing was generally found to be interesting, relevant and informative to the attendees. 
  • The newcomers we spoke with especially highlighted enjoying Together Project’s branding, website design, storytelling (through our podcast and blog), infographic posts, statistics sharing and resource sharing. 
  • Many attendees believe we should use our platform to promote positive storytelling about newcomers’ experiences, in order to highlight the resilience of the community and to counter negative stereotypes and misconceptions about refugees.

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Share more content with newcomers in our matches through the volunteers. We can do this by encouraging our volunteers to share our content (such as podcast episodes) in their WhatsApp chats when relevant. 
  • Offer newcomer participants the opportunity to sign up for Together Project’s newsletters.
  • Pursue more press opportunities to reach a broader audience outside of Together Project. 
  • Look into the possibility of hosting  newcomer guest speakers on our social media. Or, have a virtual social event for everyone involved in Together Project to meet more people. 
  • Schedule social media posts to go out more regularly, which will allow us to reach wider audiences and make sure our social media platforms are staying relevant and engaging. 
  • Feature a newcomer family or individual who wants to share the story of their match, and progress updates about the household’s integration. 
  • Share more news articles about the broader refugee experience globally, providing context for why newcomers may become refugees and come to Canada. This is particularly important to counter misinformation about refugees.

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