All Canadians should welcome Syrian newcomers

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Brett Tarver
Media and Advocacy Lead
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Development agency unveils top 5 alternative ways Canadians can help 
Cold day in a refugee camp. Eight-year-old Syrian refugee Mariha stands outside her temporary home in Lebanon. Photo/World Vision
(November 27, 2016)
MISSISSAUGA, ON - Today World Vision is urging Canadians to support newly arriving Syrian families and unveiled a list of practical tips on how to help them adjust to life in Canada. 

As one of Canada's largest humanitarian development agencies, with experience working with refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, World Vision says Canadian newcomers will need much more than a roof over their heads and three square meals a day --- it's absolutely essential for them to feel welcome and supported.

Top 5 ways Canadians can go beyond cash donations to help incoming Syrian families: 
  • Understand the crisis & talk about it: do your homework, understand what they have been through and dispel myths with friends, families and co-workers to promote positive perceptions. 
  • Chat about it online: use the Twitter #CanadiansWelcome as a forum for ideas on how to help, World Vision will share friendly messages and videos with resettlement organizations. 
  • Be a good neighbour: contact local sponsorship committees or refugee services organizations and offer your time and your friendship. Offer transportation, free space and jobs. 
  • Donate professional time: translators, language tutors, counsellors and other professionals can assist the adaption to life in Canada. 
  • Do you own fundraising: host a yard sale of bake sale, organize a local community event, donate clothing and household items but make sure it's specifically requested by receiving organizations. 


"This is a golden opportunity for Canadians to show a true Canadian welcome and open our hearts to families who have been through so much. Syrian families will be adjusting to a whole new life --- a new climate --- new everything --- but there's a lot of practical things that we can do to help them feel right at home. It takes sponsorship or government assistance to bring these newcomers to Canada, but a warm welcome and ongoing support will help them thrive in their new home here in Canada." 
-Hugh Brewster, Manager of Canadian Programs, World Vision Canada