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refugee

    September 26, 2017
    I Welcome Refugees door hanger on a door

    Today it’s time to show the world that you welcome refugees.

    You have read and heard so many stories, and seen the many different, simple ways you can help refugees. But if you feel happy to do so, telling people you welcome refugees could well inspire others to join you.

    You can make it a post on social media, or you can order I Welcome doorhangers and buttons from the online shop.

    Show the world that you are someone who welcomes refugees and see if others follow your lead.

    September 25, 2017

    Families that are fleeing conflict are often separated along the way, and sometimes they have to make difficult decisions about where to stay. This can be a huge source of stress for refugees when they are resettled, as they are constantly thinking about the family members they have left behind. Louai’s story here shows just how important connections to family elsewhere are.

    Some countries allow for families to reunited, which means that refugees can bring over family members if they can help support them.

    Today, find out what your government’s policy is on family reunification. See if there is any way you can tell your politicians to allow more families to be reunited.

    To see why this is important, here is Randa and Sham’s story.

    September 23, 2017

    Do you have children, or do you have links to a school in your community? Perhaps you’re a teacher or work in a school in some other capacity?

    If you can get your local school involved and interested in supporting refugees, you might be really surprised by the results.

    For teachers, talking about refugees provides a way for children to experience the wider world around them, by hearing people’s stories and imagining how they would feel in a similar situation.

    For parents, you might be surprised at how engaged the children become with the issues, and just how much they get out of it.

    Watch teachers, pupils and parents at Edmison Heights School in Peterborough, Canada, talking about what how they all loved doing their bit for a local refugee family.

    September 22, 2017

    What companies are big in your country? Who employs a big workforce where you are? You could enlist these companies or individuals in helping refugees too.

    Around the world, lots of businesses have either made it a policy to employ refugees, or have created dedicated training schemes to equip refugees with skills that a local employer will recognise.

    For example, the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Toronto, Canada, has a six-week training course in hospitality specifically for refugees. Watch their General Manager talking about how the scheme is a win-win for them.

    All it takes is for you to ask – so you could approach businesses in your community and ask them to make a specific commitment to train or employ refugees.

    Learn more:

    They fled war in Syria. Today, they manufacture emergency equipment for Canadians (National Observer)

    September 21, 2017
    Toronto Councillor Joe Mihevc with the Syrian Family he sponsored

    Lots of the examples and stories shared over the past 20 days have been from Canada, and that’s for a very good reason. Canada has had a private refugee sponsorship programme that has existed since the 1970s, and has resettled tens of thousands of refugees through private sponsorship

    Here is a video with Canadian sponsors, and refugees, talking about the scheme and why it is so important.

    Does this sound like something you would like to be part of?

    Contact the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program to find about about refugee sponsorship opportunities in Canada



    See all refugee stories

    September 20, 2017

    What are you good at? You may find that one of your key skills is actually something you could share with refugees.

    Do you speak another language? If there are refugees that need help with interpreting, you could volunteer your skills and make a vital difference.

    Perhaps you are a teacher of your native language? It is crucial for refugees to learn the language in the country they want to settle in, so you could volunteer to teach them, even in the short-term.

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    September 19, 2017
    Kenzu Abdella outside the restaurant he helped set up in Peterborough, ON

    One thing a refugee in your community will need is a way to earn a living. They may have been a well respected and highly skilled professional in their country, but they also may find that none of their experience or skills are recognised now.

    Some decide to try something completely new, using skills they gained before.

    Mohammed Alftih was a businessman with decades of experience behind him in Syria, printing T-shirts that were exported, mostly to Europe. When he fled Syria with his family, and finally was resettled in Peterborough, Canada, he didn’t know where to start. But his wife, Randa, was becoming famed locally for the delicious food she cooked for family and friends. So, together with a friend Mohammed made at the mosque, Kenzu Abdellah, they decided to set up a business of their own, with the Oasis Mediterranean Grill, known as OMG.

    September 18, 2017

    There are lots of people – politicians, celebrities, thought leaders - around the world who care deeply and passionately about refugees.

    You can learn from them and you can help highlight what they say and do on social media.

    Find those key, influential people and follow them – share what they post, tell them about what you’re doing as they may share this with their own networks, and you might be surprised at how much you get out of this.

    Take Councillor Joe Mihevc, for example. He is City Councillor in Toronto and is also the refugee advocate for the city of Toronto. Himself the son of refugees, he feels it was “part of his DNA” and he is passionate about welcoming refugees to Toronto and making sure they settle well.

    You can find out more about Joe here:

    There are many people like him, perhaps even some in your local area, so find them and follow what they do and say to help spread their influence even further.

    September 16, 2017
    	Nour Ammana prepares Oúzi, a Syrian street pastry, in her shop Beroea Box in Market 707 in Toronto.

    What are you interests or passions? Do you love eating out, or going to the theatre, for example? Or do you feel like trying something you’ve never done before?

    There may be refugees groups in your community who organize activities which you would enjoy. By taking part in these events, you can learn about another culture through food or art or music. This, as Amir and Noor explained, helps keep these cultures alive.

    September 15, 2017

    You’ve shown until now how much you care, so could you befriend a refugee and help them settle into your local community?

    You may have to do a bit of research to find a local group that can facilitate this, but a good first place to check is with the organizations that provide services to refugees in your Community

    Refugees that have the support of local people tend to settle in much better, so you would be making a huge difference to their lives.

    It could be just a question of meeting someone for a coffee every now and then, to help them work out any issues they may have, or you could be a lot more hands-on and help a recently arrived refugee family navigate the welfare system in your country or register in school or learn to speak English. 

    September 14, 2017

    Yesterday we talked about finding or creating a safe space online or in your local community where you can meet likeminded people who also care about refugees.

    Well, today we’re asking you to look into actual, real-life safe spaces you might find in your area. You might be able to find landlords locally that are willing to give a room or a whole property to refugees, or perhaps you have a space you can offer in your own home?

    You could offer a place for refugees to stay in the short-term, or find people that are willing to do so.

    Contact refugee service organizations in your community to find out how you can help them meet the needs of refugees in your community

    September 06, 2017

    You care about refugees – that’s clear from the fact that you’re reading this now.

    And because of that, we thought you might be interested in signing up for a free online course about the rights of refugees.

    This course will help you to understand, defend and promote the rights of refugees. You will also develop new skills and knowledge from experts and learn how to hold governments to account.

    You can do the course at your own pace, and you can also connect with other participants from across the world.  

    We really hope you enjoy it.

    And knowledge is power, so by doing this and sharing the course with others who might be interested, you will be helping to change people’s attitudes to refugees.

    Take the free online refugee rights course

    September 05, 2017
    Graphic of the refugee crisis by numbers

    To really make a difference to refugees, you need to understand the scale of the problem.

    But behind each and every number, behind every image of crowds of people waiting in refugee camps – behind each of these is a person, like Ahmed.

    He’d spent his life working in his 300-person capacity restaurant, which welcomed scores of tourist buses every day. He was well known where he lived, and much loved by tourists and locals alike.

    But the war in Syria changed everything. Both his home and his restaurant were destroyed by bombs so he fled to another city with his family, including his two young children, Aya and Read. But even there they weren’t safe, so Ahmed made the difficult decision to leave his beloved country to seek safety in Jordan. .

    August 30, 2017
    The Ali family in Toronto

    By Charmain Mohamed

    Two years ago an image of a little boy in a red T-shirt, face down on a Mediterranean beach, brought home the full horror of the humanitarian crisis unfolding on Europe’s shores. Alan Kurdi, from the Syrian town of Kobani, was just three years old when he, together with his mother and his older brother, drowned on the dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece. While the crisis was not news, it briefly seemed that the international outcry might shock world leaders into action.

    August 25, 2017

    Today, it’s all about the things you can’t always see.

    Look at the pictures below and see if you can tell – which person is a refugee? Which person gave refugees from Syria a place to stay? Which person is a professor of maths and business-owner? Which person is nurturing future soccer star?

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