Together Project
Our Work
Photo: Lisa Kannakko
Our Work

Matching

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Together Project is founded on the simple idea that social networks are an important factor for integration.

Matching is the process whereby Together Project pairs a volunteer Welcome Group with a newly arrived, Government-Assisted Refugee (GAR) newcomer or family. Volunteers join or come together to form a Welcome Group of at least five people. In our experience, this is the minimum number of people we believe it will take for the family to develop broad social networks and to feel well-supported. To join or form a new Welcome Group, please click here.

​Each Welcome Group will designate one Team Lead to liaise with Together Project and to be the main contact for the family. While other members of the group can contact Together Project in urgent cases, we ask that the Team Lead act as the primary contact person in most cases.

​We suggest forming a group with close friends, family, coworkers, or members of your community. It is important that your group have an open and honest line of communication with one another in order to delineate roles and responsibilities and to play to your strengths as individuals and as a team.

For more information about forming a Welcome Group, please contact andrew@togetherproject.ca.

Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. Together Project has worked with a variety of community agency partners across Ontario. We are currently seeking volunteers in Toronto, Mississauga and Thunder Bay. There are three ways to start volunteering with Together Project:

Welcome Groups

Welcome Groups are the backbone of Together Project’s work. We mirror Canada’s unique private sponsorship model by matching groups of five or more people with recently-arrived Government-Assisted Refugees. We support our Welcome Groups with training, resources, and feedback sessions for effectively supporting refugee newcomers.

The fastest way to get started is to form a group with coworkers, friends, or family members.

Volunteer

Alternatively, you can sign up as an individual volunteer, and we can work to connect you with other volunteers in your community to form a group that way. Please bear in mind that this does take more time, and we prioritize group formation in communities under served by existing Welcome Groups.

We are currently matching in Toronto, Mississauga and Thunder Bay.

Cultural Ambassadors

Each match is assigned a volunteer interpreter, called a Cultural Ambassador, to help bridge the linguistic and cultural gap between the newcomers and their counterpart Welcome Group.

Cultural Ambassadors are assigned a maximum of three matches each, and are expected to translate via WhatsApp on a daily basis and be available for in-person interpretation at least twice a month.

Resources

We train our volunteers to provide safe, effective social support for refugee newcomers. To learn more, please download our manuals below.

Welcome

The first manual in the series is designed to give volunteers a broad, comprehensive overview of volunteering with refugee newcomers, including understanding refugee resettlement, the role of volunteers in integration, understanding the settlement sector, and managing expectations.

Connect

The second manual was designed to support Welcome Group volunteers in helping connect refugee newcomers with available services for the first steps in their settlement and the longer journey toward durable integration, in a way that complements the role of settlement sector staff and caseworkers.

Empower

The third manual can help guide Welcome Group volunteers in helping refugee newcomers begin the process of finding work, access training and accreditation, understand the importance of volunteerism and civic engagement, and understand basic rights and responsibilities as next steps along the journey toward long-term integration.

Belong

The fourth manual will provide information concerning the “Month 13” transition from Resettlement Assistance Program support to other forms of social assistance following the initial 12 month settlement period.

Resource Lists

​To see a list of Welcome Group resources by city, please click on one of the following locations:

Social media

Together Project has both public and private Facebook pages. Every Welcome Group member should request to join our private Facebook group. This is where we post events and make other announcements:

Private Together Project Facebook Group

​You may also wish to join our Together Project Public Facebook Page.

Other Resources

Here are some resources from other organizations:

CMAS, which focuses on caring for immigrant and refugee children, developed this resource, particularly for child care providers. But the first 17 pages are useful for everyone engaging with Syrian newcomers: Caring for Syrian Refugee Children

​The Canadian Council for Refugees has a good privately sponsored refugee (PSR) support page, which answers many questions that apply to helping newcomer refugees, whether PSR or GAR.