The current refugee resettlement plan in British Columbia continues to dominate the headlines as individuals and communities work together to assist refugees. Read more about what’s happening across the province.

March 1, 2018 – Global News: Surrey RCMP charge man for alleged assault of Syrian refugee

March 1, 2018 – Daily Press: UNICEF – Basic needs of young Syrian refugee children not met

February 27, 2018 – Q&A: Ahmad Danny Ramadan on the unique experiences of LGBTQ refugees – The Syrian-Canadian author talks refugee life, his writing, and more

February 26, 2018 – NewsDeeply: How Blockchain Could Make Refugee Programs More Transparent

February 26, 2018 – CTV News: Changing the status quo: B.C. agency pioneers one-stop-shop mental health care

February 19, 2018 – Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR)International Refugee Rights Conference 2018 will be held on June 7-9, 2018 at York University in Toronto, Canada.

February 19, 2018 – CBC News‘He has a big heart’: cross-continent kindness could save Syrian man from blindness – Florida resident donates almost $60,000 Cdn to help Syrian family

February 13, 2018 – The Star: Refugee claimants challenge federal government over denial of child benefit – A Toronto legal clinic is representing six clients who are challenging the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) over treatment they argue violates their charter rights based on immigration status.

February 9, 2018 – World Economic ForumScandinavian countries are copying Canada’s approach to immigration

February 7, 2018 – CBC News: 1 in 6 female asylum seekers fleeing gender-based persecution – Deka and Khadija believe their husbands will kill them if they’re sent back to Djibouti

January 31, 2018 – UNHCR: UNHCR releases draft outlining a new global refugee deal – ‘Zero draft’ of the global compact on refugees provides the basis for formal talks with UN Member States in Geneva in February.

January 30, 2018 – The Conversation: Let’s Talk about the mental health of young immigrant and refugee men

January 30, 2018 – Vancouver Sun: Comic illustrates refugee family’s bleak arrival in Vancouver and hope for the future

January 1, 2018 – Immigration and Refugees Board of Canada (IRC): Expedited Processing of Refugee Claims by the Refugee Protection Division: Designation of Turkey – Effective January 1, 2018, the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) has designated claims for refugee protection from Turkey as eligible for processing under the Policy on the Expedited Processing of Refugee Claims by the Refugee Protection Division. This designation was initiated based on recent acceptance rates, a sufficiently high volume of cases, and a review of common claim types and issues relating to claims from this country.

December 28, 2017 – Immigration and Refugees Board of Canada (IRB): How to make a refugee claim in Canada – The refugee appeal process at the RAD can be challenging to navigate. Watch the video below to understand key elements.

December 18, 2018 – Government of Canada – IRCC: How we process privately sponsored refugee applications

The Government of Canada sets the number of applications that can be processed in a given year in the Annual Immigration Levels Plan. In 2018, that target is 18,000 privately sponsored refugees. We generally process applications on a first-in, first-out basis. There are applications for roughly 41,000 refugees waiting to be processed (as of December 2017).

December 7, 2017 – Immigration and Refugees Board of Canada (IRB): Government of Canada warning refugee and immigrant communities to be wary of fraudulent calls claiming to originate from the IRB and demanding money

December 1, 2017 – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC): Key figures on asylum claims made in Canada – Variety of up-to-date statistics (up to November 2017) on monthly reports of claims in Canada including RCMP interceptions, claims processed by the CBSA, etc.

November 16, 2017 – Canadian Immigrant Magazine: We’re one big diverse nation, according to Census date, but there is more to consider than just numbers

November 15, 2017 – The National Observer: War on the playground: when children act out divisions from battles left behind

November 10, 2017 – Times Colonist: Cash injection spares refugees from losing legal aid — for now

November 10, 2017 – News 1130: Vancouver refugee agency still struggling

November 7, 2017 – Xtra News: Gay Honduran asylum seeker given four-week reprieve from deportation – Josué Martín Elvir Zamora’s refugee claim was rejected by the Immigration and Refugee Board because it didn’t believe that he’s gay

November 4, 2017 – CBC News – Politics: Funding uncertainty could stall LGBT refugee resettlement, advocates say – Trudeau adviser says ‘we have more work to do as a government’ to make supports equitable

November 3, 2017 – The Globe and Mail: Bob Rae urged to call on Myanmar’s neighbours to help stop attacks on Rohingya

November 3, 2017 – UNHCR Canada: Young newcomers’ tech innovations help refugees

November 3, 2017 – University of Oxford – Refugee Studies Centre: Major new funding from the IKEA Foundation for research on the economic lives of refugees

November 3, 2017 – Quartz: The UN is using ethereum’s technology to fund food for thousands of refugees

November 1, 2017 – The TyeeUnderemployment and Low Wages Continue to Burden Immigrants  – Refugees in particular struggle to find stable, suitable work.

October 30, 2017 – Peace Arch News: Report aims to help refugees find jobs in Surrey, Abbotsford – Some 5,820 refugees settled in B.C. as a result of Syria’s civil war, mostly in Surrey and Abbotsford.

October 29, 2017 – Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative: Newsletter Vol. 1 – GRSI at a Glance

October 25, 2017 – CBC News (Video): Is immigration good or bad for an economy?

October 25, 2017 – The Globe and MailCensus 2016 breakdown of refugee populations in Canada from 1991 to 2016

Globe and Mail Census 2016

October 24, 2017 – Daily Hive: Mysterious mural uncovered on Drake Street at Seymour… but not for long

October 23, 2017 – News Release – Province of British Columbia – Social Development and Poverty Reduction: Mapping refugee skills fills employer needs

“The biggest asset of the project was the collaboration between all the partners, which helped us understand individual refugee’s level of readiness for employment, and uncover the needs of employers in terms of their successful recruitment and retention.” – Manpreet Grewal, Director of Multicultural and Immigrant Integration Services, Abbotsford Community Services 

October 23, 2017 –  Global News: Leadership Series: B.C.’s refugee sponsors

October 22, 2o17 – Campbell River Mirror: Language barriers a huge hurdle for new Canadians – Campbell River Immigrant Welcome Centre takes over LINC program, but needs your help to keep it here

October 22, 2017 – CBC News: ‘I was never trained to do this,’ Doctor recounts 10 years service at Vancouver refugee clinic – Dr. Martina Scholtens’ new book documents decade working as family physician at Bridge Refugee Clinic

October 22, 2017 – Merritt Herald: Syrian family bound for Merritt arrives in B.C.

October 19, 2017 – Vice: What I Learned Treating Newly Arrived Refugees for Ten Years – Vancouver’s Bridge Refugee Clinic, which has welcomed 50,000 refugees since it opened, is slated to close next month.


October 4, 2017 – Surrey Local Immigration Partnership – “Surrey NEW” Refugee Day: Hosted by MOSAIC. Come discover the many special services and programs MOSAIC has available for refugees. Employers from the manufacturing sector will present on how to land a job in the sector. Also learn about unique self-employment initiatives for women! There will be door prizes, gift baskets, and food! Event Date/Time: Monday, October 23, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm; Location: MOSAIC (#200-7134 King George Blvd); For more information, contact Joanna Habdank (, 604-254-0244). This event is part of Surrey Newcomer Employment Week. See what other great events are going on

October 3, 2017 – Fresh Voices’ Hear My StoryShare, reflect, remember and celebrate diversity in our communities and be inspired by the stories of immigrant and refugee youth. Hear from Unicef Canada Ambassador John Nsabimana and a panel of youth speakers, and share your story through interactive program components. This is a free community event open to anyone. This event is brought to you by the Victoria Foundation and Vancouver Foundation and co-organized by an engaged group of immigrant youth. A light dinner will be served. Note that elevator access is available for participants with mobility limitations. Event Date: October 25, 2017; Location: Victoria, BC; Click HERE to Register. 

October 2, 2017 – The National Post: Loan program blamed for leaving refugees in financial trouble to be reworked

September 29, 2017 – NOTICE – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: Proposed changes to the Immigration Loan Program to help refugees and immigrants succeed

September 29, 2017 – UBC (October 11 – 19, 2017) – After the Flight: Community-University Refugee & Migration Symposium: Organized by campus and community partners, the 2017 After the Flight symposium provides opportunities to learn from one another, exchange refugee and claimant settlement experiences, as well as share research, knowledge and passion on refugee and migration issues.

September 29, 2017 – NOTICE – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: Proposed changes to the Immigration Loan Program to help refugees and immigrants succeed

September 27, 2017 – Cloverdale ReporterRefugees a business, not just social issue, Surrey Board of Trade says – Board’s request rejected at national meeting this week.

September 26, 2017 – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada: Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Irregular Migration meets again in Ottawa. The Task Force works on issues related to the recent and sustained increase in asylum seekers entering Canada from the United States.

September 26, 2017 – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada: Pilot Project Regarding the Presence of Children in Refugee Protection Division Hearings

September 25, 2017 – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to carry out audit of long-term detention reviews

September 21, 2017 – BC Local News – Magicians to help new refugee family magically appear in Qualicum Beach

September 20, 2017 – Abbotsford News – Surge in asylum seekers at B.C. borders: stats

September 19, 2017 – CBC News Syrian women in Victoria, B.C., find work with a little help from Canadian friends

September 18, 2017 – Vancouver Sun – Refugee groups expect surge in Salvadoran, Honduran asylum seekers

September 12, 2017 – IVOHCloudscape Comics depicts refugee stories in Vancouver

September 3, 2017 – Times Colonist – Syrian refugees learn about First Nation history, and find connections

August 31, 2017 – BC Local News – Refugees arriving in Nanaimo from a few different nations

August 30, 2017 – CKNW News – Language training a key barrier for refugees in Surrey

August 29, 2017 – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – Video: Beware of misleading or false information about claiming refugee status in Canada

August 21, 2017 – Webinar: The ICA “We Speak Translate” project was a featured Learning Exchange webinar – listen to this webinar that took place in July 2017. The Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) is based in Victoria, British Columbia, providing settlement and integration services to immigrants and refugees settling on Vancouver Island.

August 21, 2017 – Immerse Gala: A fundraising gala, in benefit, of VAST that will Immerse you in a cultural experience. Inviting you to taste a variety of flavours, get lost in the beauty of art, and unwind to uplifting sounds from around the world.  Gala includes: Short presentation, entertainment, food stations by Nuba and Chickpea, silent auction and raffle prizes.

August 16, 2017 – BC Local NewsBeyond The Headlines: No free ride for refugees – Vernon BC

August 16, 2017 – AXIOS – Report: Canada gets refugees to work faster than anyone in the west

What sets Canada apart: Its flexible labor market, decentralized settlement services and welcoming culture, which combine to get refugees into jobs rapidly, according to the report by the Tent Foundation and the Open Political Economy Network (OPEN). “There’s a perception in the world that taking on refugees can be a burden to a country … [but] they really do make serious contributions to the economy,” Tent’s Gideon Maltz told Axios.

August 15, 2017 – BC Local News – Chilliwack concert to support refugee counselling organization

August 11, 2017 – News Release – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) – IRB launching Irregular Border Crossing Response Team to address large and growing number of border crossings in Quebec

August 6, 2017 – CBC News – LGBT refugees in Lower Mainland face service gaps : Advocates say basic refugee services need to be tailored to LGBT community

August 5, 2017 – CBC News – Misleading social media messages entice Haitian asylum seekers to come to Canada – WhatsApp message, Youtube video making rounds erroneously reports Canada issued open invitation to Haitians

August 1, 2017 – Vancouver Sun  – Services needed for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning newcomers in Surrey: Study

July 31, 2017 – SFU News  – Improving services key for LGBTQ+ newcomers

July 31, 2017 – News1130 – Clooney Foundation to open schools for Syrian refugees

July 29, 2017Abbotsford News – Iraqi man claimed refugee status after crossing into Canada illegally: 31 year old entered Abbotsford, asked local to call police.

July 28, 2017HuffPost – Canadian ‘Heavy-Hitters’ Rally The World To Tackle Refugee Crisis: Though inspired by a UN initiative, Canada is running the show outside of the international body.

July 25, 2017Media Release – Legal Services Society – Additional federal funding for immigrant and refugee legal aid.

July 25, 2017 – Bridge Clinic for Refugees – Services at Bridge Clinic will ramp down by November 3, 2017. “After August 18, refugees will be referred directly to VCH primary care clinics or Fraser Health clinics in the community where they reside. More information will be provided by Bridge staff as to where new refugees can access care”.

July 21, 2017The National Observer  The Survivors Next Door

July 16, 2017 – Media Release – S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Walkathon Marks 32nd Anniversary with Multicultural Carnival. “The Walk is a great time to meet old and new friends. In addition to many familiar faces, we have engaged more newcomers and refugee clients. Many of them joined the event for the first time,” – Sing Lim Yeo, Chair of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Foundation.

July 11, 2017 – Maclean’s – Down on the border: Twenty-four hours. Four provinces. Seven towns. What one day on the Canada-U.S. line says about refugees, Canadian tolerance and Trump’s America.

July 10, 2017 – News Release: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) –  Reduced Capacity at the Immigration Appeal Division, Western Region: The Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has reduced capacity to conduct oral hearings from its Vancouver and Calgary offices.

July 4, 2017 – News Release: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) – Electronic Submission of Documents to the Refugee Protection Division: The Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) has issued a practice notice to allow the submission of documents electronically to the RPD using Canada Post’s epost Connect™ service.

July 2, 2017 – CTV News Vancouver – Syrian refugee family celebrates their first Canada Day in Surrey.

July 1 2017 – Canadian Immigrant Magazine – The results are in! Canadian Immigrant proudly presents the 2017 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award winners. Included in this year’s list is former refugee form Syria Danny Ramadan, an advocate for LGBTQ refugees.

June 26, 2017 – News Release & FAQ: Legal Services Society – Suspension of Immigration and Refugee Services Effective August 1, 2017

June 26, 2017 Vancouver Sun – Ian Mulgrew: Legal aid for refugees being cut August 1, 2017.

June 20, 2017 – CTV News – The scale of the South Sudanese refugee crisis, in maps and photos. Following the outbreak of the South Sudanese civil war, over 1.8 million refugees flooded across the border, heading to Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan.

June 20, 2017 – CBC News What will it take to end the refugee crisis? “We don’t see any end in sight” says UNHCR’s Canada representative Jean-Nicolas Beuze.

June 20, 2017 – CBC News  After fleeing Egypt, Vancouver migrant aims to give back to refugees with coding: Omar Sabry came to Canada with nothing but two suitcases and a laptop.

June 20, 2017 – Press Release: Immigration & Refugee Board Canada – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada Chairperson Mario Dion and Deputy Chairperson of the Refugee Protection Division Shereen Benzvy Miller deliver a message for World Refugee Day and a call to action for legacy claimants to update their contact information. IRB is asking refugee claimants who made a claim in Canada before December 15, 2012 to contact the IRB with their contact information.

June 20, 2017 – Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on World Refugee Day – The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued a statement on World Refugee Day: “Today, I call on Canadians and people around the world to stand with people seeking shelter from enormous hardship and violence. Let us show compassion for their plight, recognize their dignity, and continue to see ourselves in each other.”

June 19, 2017 – The National – Vietnamese refugee family’s story inspires “Heritage Minute” video: A story by Judy Trinh, a freelance contributor to CBC, has inspired a new Heritage Minute, which tells of her family’s harrowing escape from Vietnam and the Canadian immigration officer who changed their lives.

June 9, 2017 – News Release: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada  – Government launches review of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada

May 29, 2017 – Cloverdale Reporter – Surrey Board of Trade wants government to increase supports for refugees: Surrey business group wants income support increased to three years and career planning enhanced.

March 8, 2017 – Chatbot that overturned 160,000 parking fines now helping refugees claim asylum – the guardian: The creator of a chatbot which overturned more than 160,000 parking fines and helped vulnerable people apply for emergency housing is now turning the bot to helping refugees claim asylum.

March 7, 2017 – Free Career Workshops for Youth – Government of Canada: Please join us for a free career exploration workshop & learn about the skilled trades. Tour the college, participate in discussions and enjoy lunch on us!

March 6, 2017 – 82 per cent of B.C. minorities have experienced discrimination or racism, survey finds – Vancouver Sun: Daniel Tseghay, an advocate for African refugees notes that while there is and should be great attention and support for Syrian refugees, he hopes that the public are reminded there are refugees from other parts of the world who are also risking their lives to flee their countries and also require support.

graphic-novel-telling-our-stories-immigrant-women-s-resilienceMarch 3, 2017 – Graphic novel puts spotlight on violence against immigrant women – CBC News

A group of immigrant women are using colourful cartoons to tell dark stories about gang rape, marital rape and workplace sexual harassment.


welcome-centreMarch 2, 2017 – Refugee welcome centre closes doors – CBC News

Welcome House, the first refugee reception centre in B.C., and third in Canada, is closing its doors as the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia shifts its operations to a larger space in East Vancouver.


vancouver-bc-february-25-2017-sherry-h-ghorbankhaniMarch 1, 2017 – B.C. counsellors say lack of professional oversight blocks refugees’ access to their services – Vancouver Sun

Traumatized refugees fleeing war-torn countries are struggling to access crucial mental-health services upon arriving in B.C., say counsellors and settlement groups who support them.


vancouver-bc-june-3-2016-settlement-services-directo1March 1, 2017 – B.C. refugee centre reports sharp jump in asylum seekers –  Vancouver Sun

People who assist new refugees in B.C. are reporting a big jump in the number of new asylum seekers in recent months, and the vast majority are coming on foot across the U.S. border.


86742nanaimoNabilSponsorshipLogo-WebFebruary 20, 2017 – Helping vulnerable Yazidi women and children and other survivors of Daesh – Government of Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is committed to offering help to vulnerable Yazidi women and children and other survivors of Daesh and to taking the necessary time to do this right.


yra_research_slam_posterFebruary 20, 2017 – Research Slam – Youth Research Academy

Learn to design, develop, and analyze a survey to help understand how young people experience and manage stress.



1485452821878February 19, 2017 – The Middle East and the Refugee Crisis: An Evening with Robert Fisk – Simon Fraser University

Robert Fisk, an award winning Middle East correspondent for The Independent, will provide us with an on-the-ground perspective of events in the Middle East and the origins of the refugee crisis.


CARFMS17_PosterNewDateFebruary 16, 2017 – Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies – University of Victoria

CARFMS17 will invite researchers, policy makers and activists from diverse disciplines and regions to discuss the parameters of global displacement, especially the experiences of those taking routes less traveled.


crochet-1-greeceFebruary 16, 2017 – Refugees hooked on crochet: how a B.C. woman is helping Syrians combat boredom as they bide time in Greece –  CBC News

Karen Kirk didn’t expect her love of crochet to do much good when she started volunteering in a refugee camp in Greece, but it turns out the hobby is hugely popular among Syrian children.


0212-refugees-jpgFebruary 12, 2017 – Abbotsford firm hires Iraqi, Syrian refugees to make windows for U.S. – Times Colonist

As the U.S. president tries to close his borders to refugees from Iraq and Syria, an Abbotsford company’s refugee employees from those countries are building high-end doors and windows destined for sale in the U.S.


12882962February 9, 2017 – Syrian refugees ‘represent relatively low security threat’: declassified CBSA report – Vancouver Sun

An intelligence report by Canada’s immigration enforcement branch found little evidence of security concerns about Syrians, contrary to U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to ban citizens of the country.


WED_TANIA_INTERVIEW_tnb_3February 1, 2017 – Muslim misconceptions: The everyday Islamophobia facing Canadians – Global News

A deadly terror attack at a Quebec City mosque is shining a light on the ugly truth of Islamophobia in Canada.


golsaJanuary 31, 2017 – An open letter on the value of diversity in our communities – Vancouver Foundation

As the world seemed to change overnight – becoming smaller, more exclusionary, less generous in word and deed – I couldn’t help but reflect on Vancouver Foundation’s vision of “healthy, vibrant, and livable communities.”


amssa-weblogoJanuary 31, 2017 – Anti-Racism & Anti-Hate Initiatives: Supporting the Integration of Refugees in our Communities – AMSSA

This forum will be a combined in-person and online training opportunity bringing together community organizers and experts in the anti-racism and anti-hate sector February 15.


dsc-0718-copy-jpg-size-xxlarge-promo.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoJanuary 31, 2017 – Metro Vancouver’s guide to fighting Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiment – Vancouver Metro

Metro Vancouver compiled a few suggestions and ideas for how you can get involved in making a difference — our guide to helping combat Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiment in your community.


usa-trump-immigrationJanuary 30, 2017 – Syrian refugees need Canada’s help more than ever, lawyer says – CBC News

A Vancouver-based immigration lawyer says Canada has an important role to play internationally in handling the fallout from U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries.


19fcfb6722e39e1bfe5dc440fa1f1a55January 26, 2017 – Private sponsorship virtual meeting – Canadian Council for Refugees

This session is designed for people involved in, or hoping to be involved in private sponsorship of refugees across Canada, especially those who want to learn about opportunities for networking.


file_photo-unhcr-syrian_refugees_in_jordan_zaatari_campJanuary 26, 2017 – Vancouver’s humanitarian tech wizards create digital lifeline for refugees and aid workers – National Observer

They’re exhausted and need medical help, as one of the children is running a fever. The mother is pregnant and needs medical attention. But where can the family find a health clinic?


January 25, 2017 – Providing timely protection for privately sponsored refugees – Government of Canada

Providing timely protection to privately sponsored refugees is a priority. Steps are being taken to reduce wait times and reduce the existing backlog of applications.


mexico-border-wallJanuary 25, 2017 – B.C. settlement groups prepare for possible “Trump bump” in immigrants and refugees – i News 880 AM

U.S. President Donald Trump today unveiled a suite of new measures aimed at tightening America’s borders, including building a border wall with Mexico, cutting back on refugee intake, and more intensive visa vetting for people from certain countries.


refugees walkingJanuary 23, 2017 – 5 Myths About Refugees – Psychology Today

To respond effectively to the mental health needs of refugees, it’s helpful to first dispel several myths and let the intriguing findings of recent studies guide our efforts.



podcastJanuary 19, 2017 – Syria and its refugees: a historical perspective | Dawn Chatty – University of Oxford

This seminar series focuses on the unfolding conflict and human catastrophe in Syria.



richmond-january-8-2017-varti-strak-8-ara-strak-42-dJanuary 8, 2017 – Refugees and their sponsors celebrate a year of ‘prosperity’ in Canada – Vancouver Sun

With their two sons serving as altar boys, and eight-year-old daughter Varti flying around the church hall in a red dress, Syrian refugees Ara and Sousan Strak celebrated their first year in Canada at St. Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church in Richmond on Sunday.


orthodox-christmas-celebrations-st-gregory-s-armenian-church-richmondJanuary 8, 2017 – B.C. Armenian church celebrates Orthodox Christmas with sponsored refugees – CBC News

Ara Strak says he and his family are marking Orthodox Christmas with prayers of gratitude even while the memory of fleeing from his bombed-out apartment in Aleppo is still fresh in his minds.


tohme-and-tiloJanuary 8, 2017 – One year on, Syrian refugees in Prince George, B.C., still between worlds – CBC News

Rose Tohme holds up Tilo Junior, or TJ. The kitten is named after the cat the Tohmes had to leave behind in Lebanon.


dec16-20-475158057-1024x576December 29, 2017 – Refugees Need Jobs. Entrepreneurship Can Help. – Harvard Business Review

Refugees pouring into Europe from Africa and the Middle East have arguably created the greatest crisis for the “European Experiment” since it began after World War II.


syrian-child-refugeesDecember 28, 2016 – Syrian refugees face challenges accessing childcare in Kamloops – CBC News

After one year of being in Canada, most of the 11 Syrian families who are living in Kamloops, B.C., are still struggling to find work and childcare.



December 18, 2016 – The Mental Health of Syrian Refugees  – Surrey Local Immigrant Partnership

We are pleased to announce a new online course on the mental health needs and considerations for Syrian refugees in January 2017.

smiley toothDecember 18, 2016 – Early Childhood Dental Health – Burnaby Public Library

This workshop will discuss the steps you can take to prevent early childhood tooth decay and dental disease transmission.


image5December 18, 2016 – Aleppo mother living in B.C. grateful family is safe – CTV News

Christmas came early for a Syrian refugee living in Coquitlam, B.C. when she learned the last of her family has escaped war-torn Aleppo.



16-19-van-aleppovigil2submittedwebDecember 18, 2016 – Syrian refugees and supporters mourn fall of Aleppo, decry ‘failed’ international response – Vancouver Metro

On Saturday night in Vancouver, several hundred people called for international action to stop the killing of civilians in Syria, and to push the United Nations out of an impasse over how to respond to war crimes there.


ali-barsan_dsc8655-webDecember 15, 2016 – Voice messages from Aleppo haunt Syrian refugee in Canada – National Observer

Ali Barsan buried his head in his hands, and let out a soft sob. An interpreter slid him a box of tissue paper, and he thanked her as he dabbed away hot tears falling down his cheeks.


December 15, 2016 – A milestone looms for Canada’s Syrian refugees: ‘Month 13’ – Maclean’s

Thousands of Syrians will soon be collecting social assistance. But that’s not surprising—nor is it all bad news.



khaled-adlanDecember 17, 2016 – Syrian refugees in Victoria worry about finding work – CBC News

Up until 10 months ago, Khaled Adlan had never spoken English. Since fleeing Homs, Syria, with his family for Victoria, B.C., he’s worked tirelessly to learn the language that he knows is key to finding work.



aleppoDecember 15, 2016 – Syrian refugees in Vancouver worry despite ceasefire in Aleppo – CBC News

A ceasefire and evacuation plan is back in place in the Syrian city of Aleppo, a day after the previous agreement collapsed in a shower of air strikes and artillery shelling by pro-government forces in the city.


December 14, 2016 – Metro Vancouver families desperate to bring Syrian refugees stuck in Iraq – Vancouver Metro

B.C. residents are celebrating the one-year anniversary of Canada’s announcement to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees but some Metro Vancouver families are stuck in bureaucratic limbo while they try to take relatives out of refugee camps in Iraq.


imageDecember 12, 2016 – Syrian refugee’s move to B.C. ‘the best thing’ that ever happened to him – CTV News

A Syrian refugee calls his move to Metro Vancouver “the best thing” that ever happened to him, but after two years in Canada, he’s still waiting to be reunited with his family.


December 12, 2016 – Syrian refugee report shows challenges and successes after one year in B.C. – Vancouver Metro

Haveen Kurdi, left, 16, hugs her aunt Tima Kurdi, who lives in the Vancouver area, after her family, who escaped the war in Syria, arrived at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on Monday December 28, 2015.


50581BCLN2007DonaldTrumpDecember 11, 2016 – Racist incidents in B.C. spark concern among defenders of tolerance – BC Local News

In an open letter from 17 Richmond churches published this week, immigrants and their supporters are fighting back against recent hate speech targeting Chinese immigrants.


syrian-driversDecember 7, 2016 – Driver’s licensing a frustration for some Syrian refugees – CBC News

Driving instructor Steve Wallace warns student Jawdat Belal that he’ll fail the road test if he keeps steering with one hand.


proxyDecember 7, 2016 – Connecting newcomers to jobs – BC Government News

Government is investing more than $630,000 to find new ways for refugees and immigrants to join British Columbia’s growing economy.



web-po-senate-syrians-1206+(2)December 6, 2016 – Senate committee calls on Ottawa to do more for refugee integration – The Globe and Mail

A Senate committee says Ottawa must do more when it comes to language training and child care and cannot offload its responsibility onto the provinces.


refugeesxxnw1547December 5, 2016 – For Syrian refugees, shift to provincial assistance is a financial challenge – The Globe and Mail

Ms. Ramadan, her three daughters and her two sons fled war-torn Syria for Jordan in 2013, and arrived in British Columbia as government-assisted refugees in January. They spent their first few months in a Vancouver motel and later moved to an apartment in the suburb of Burnaby.


vancouver-november-27-2015-masud-azar-a-family-and-youth-oDecember 4, 2016 – B.C. has longest waiting lists for English classes in Canada – The Vancouver Sun

Thousands of Syrian refugees in Metro Vancouver have not had any English classes, making it nearly impossible for them to find jobs as their year of federal support comes to an end in early 2017.


VIU-STUDENTS-SUPPORTING-REFUGEESDecember 4, 2016 – Refugee Sponsorship life-changing for those involved at Vancouver Island University – CHEK

It’s been a life-changing year for three refugee students studying at Vancouver Island University. Student led sponsorships have allowed the three to not only come and study in Nanaimo but help them become permanent Canadian residents.


shadi-al-radiDecember 3, 2016 – Challenges and triumphs: Syrian refugees’ 1st year in Canada – CBC News

Shadi al-Radi works through some English lessons on YouTube. He diligently follows along with the instructor, taking notes and writing out phrases on his note pad. He says he’s moved past the “English for Arabs” videos and on to basic English instruction.


Social media profileNovember 27, 2016 – Syrian Refugees: Month 13 & Beyond – ISSofBC and the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation (MSDSI)

The 2-hour training webinar covering the following topics; an introduction to the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP), Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) transition out of RAP to Social Assistance, and Orientation on Social Assistance.


UBC eventNovember 27, 2016 – Reflections on Breaking the Cycle Symposium and The Consul– UBC

Did you know that one in every 113 people globally is now either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee? Wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than ever before, according to the UNHCR 2016 report Global Trends.


brian-ayotteNovember 24, 2016 –  Salmon Arm refugee advocate ‘disappointed’ by hateful graffiti -CBC News

The chair of the Salmon Arm Refugee Coalition, Brian Ayotte, is disturbed by the hateful graffiti found along a local walking trail, but he says it doesn’t represent how the vast majority of people in the Shuswap city feel.


vidNovember 24, 2016 – Short film captures essence of Syrian resettlement movement – ISSofBC

Through the eyes of ISSofBC’s Mohammed Alsaleh, Welcome to Canada highlights the front-line work of ISSofBC staff and the lives of refugee families resettling in British Columbia.


ukS_EldgNovember 7, 2016 – Orientation Program for Arabic-Speaking Newcomers– WorkSafeBC

WorkSafeBC has created a workplace orientation program targeting Syrian, and other Arabic-speaking, newcomers that will help them understand their rights and responsibilities.


https _cdn.evbuc.com_images_24981201_112640511563_1_original

November 7, 2016 – Financial Literacy Facilitator Training – Prosper Canada

The training is an online course that prepares frontline staff to deliver an easy-to-use curriculum that covers a range of financial topics.


Blog-Awards-2016-3-1024x588November 7, 2016 – 2016 Fresh Voices Awards – Nominate someone today! – Fresh Voices

The Fresh Voices Awards recognize the inspiration and leadership of immigrant and refugee youth in British Columbia and across Canada, working to advance social change. Learn more or download a poster.


refugee-pics2.jpg.size.custom.crop.868x650November 7, 2016 – UN campaign will feature Canada’s ‘unique’ private sponsorship program for refugees – The Star

A new campaign by United Nations High Commission for Refugees will show how Syrians are settling in Canada under the private sponsorship program.


imageNovember 4, 2016 – Syrian refugee in Nanaimo hopeful to find work after returning to school – CTV News

A government sponsored refugee living in Nanaimo says he and his family have been given a second chance at life.


artNovember 4, 2016 – Behind the Lines—Contemporary Syrian Art – Vancouver Island RRT

The art and event reflects strong collaboration, and encourages a more “three dimensional” view of Syrian identity expressed through art.



November 2, 2016 – A Networking Event about Refugee Private Sponsorship – MVRRT

Private sponsors, community workers, settlement workers, volunteers and persons interested in supporting refugees are welcome to attend in the City of North Vancouver on November 5th.


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAixAAAAJDJkOGM5NTljLTZjZTQtNDVlNS1hMjdjLWRmNGUyOTM2NzBkYgNovember 2, 2016 – Refugee Forum on Family Reunification – MOSAIC

MOSAIC’s Refugee Settlement Project is organizing a Refugee Forum on Family Reunification November 2 in Burnaby.



canada-day-20160701November 1, 2016 – Canada’s declining target for refugees ‘doesn’t add up’ for immigration advocate – CBC News

A man who helped thousands of Syrian refugees resettle in B.C. says he’s disappointed the number of refugees Canada plans to accept next year is dropping.


AAEAAQAAAAAAAAaFAAAAJGMwMGQyZTAwLTA4NzMtNDNjNi05YmI2LTVlOWZlMmI1NmNmNgOctober 31, 2016 – Supplementary Information 2017 Immigration Levels Plan – Government of Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is pleased to release details on its 2017 Immigration Levels Plan. Canada will welcome between 280,000 and 320,000 (target 300,000) new permanent residents in 2017.


majarian-family-halloweenOctober 31, 2016 – Syrian refugees’ first Halloween a nervous, exciting experience – CBC News

When Richmond’s Vicken Majarian’s young children first noticed the scarier parts of Halloween, he says they were reminded of their war-torn home of Aleppo, Syria.



douaa-her-five-brothers-and-sisters-and-her-parents-are-a1October 28, 2016 – Haida Gwaii-based Syrian family wounded by war needs help travelling to Vancouver for surgeries – Vancouver Sun

Douaa, her five brothers and sisters, and her parents are a long way from the conflict in Syria–they were resettled in Queen Charlotte City in Haida Gwaii in August 2016.



waed-and-islam-al-abbasOctober 27, 2016 – Two more Syrian families arrive in Terrace, B.C. – Terrace Standard

TERRACE welcomed its second and third Syrian families with the second arriving mid-month and the third on Oct. 20.



report-syriansOctober 21, 2016 – Ottawa to hear from Syrian teens in Vancouver on refugee challenges – CKNW

Settlement officials are hoping Ottawa can learn some lessons from the first wave of Syrian refugees, by hearing straight from the source.



web-bc-refugeesOctober 18, 2016 – Young Syrian refugees in Vancouver worried about housing, education – Globe and Mail

Young Syrian refugees who came to the Vancouver region in the past year say they’re concerned about the high cost of housing and the difficulty navigating a complex education system.


syrian-child-at-bc-childrensOctober 18, 2016 – B.C. kindergarten student still recovering from war wounds – CBC News

One of B.C.’s young Syrian refugees is a four-year-old war amputee who loves to climb the monkey bars but still needs medical care for her battle scars.


UBC eventOctober 17, 2016 –  Breaking the Cycle: Canada’s Refugee Record on the Global Stage – UBC

UBC is hosting a symposium Oct. 21st – Nov. 6th, Breaking the Cycle: Canada’s Refugee Record on the Global Stage, alongside an opera and an art exhibit titled The Consul in order to stimulate discussion on the global refugee crisis.


webinar-icon1October 14, 2016 – Maximizing your return on inclusion – IEC-BC

Join us online for an engaging conversation on how to tap into the talented refugee pool and create a diverse, inclusive, and productive workforce hosted by IEC-BC.



67915langleyindexOctober 13, 2016 – Syrian refugees and sponsors invited to lunch with the Manners Lady – Langley Times

Langley’s Judi Vankevich, AKA “Judi the Manners Lady” is helping new Canadians from Syria adjust to the Canadian way of living.


proxyOctober 12, 2016 – Nanaimo multicultural society expects another refugee group – Nanaimo News Bulletin

A new wave of refugees is expected to call the Harbour City home in the coming days, weeks and months.


tiffany-cooper-syrian_refugee_youth-iss-boysOctober 11, 2016 – Young Syrian refugees talk frankly about barriers and opportunities faced in Canada – National Observer

The group of Syrian youth presented the results of a discussion about refugees’ experiences during their first eight months in Canada, and how things could be improved in the future.


87987098October 8, 2016 – Tabouleh & turkey (make that halal chicken) and sharing Thanksgiving Day – CBC News

On Sunday night, we’re eating with old friends who are visiting from Vancouver, while on Monday night, we’re hosting new friends from Syria.



October 6, 2016 – Sponsors still needed for many more Syrian refugees – Victoria News

Victoria has welcomed a total of 40 Syrian families (154 individuals) who have arrived as refugees to make their new home in our city.



October 5, 2016 – Swedish delegation learns how British Columbians are helping refugees – Vancouver Sun

A month after arriving in Vancouver, 13-year-old Syrian refugee Jin Yusuf was helping an international delegation understand how to best help refugee students like her and their families.


Mohammed-PeaceGeeksOctober 5, 2016 – UN launching new app for Syrian refugees developed in Vancouver – Daily Hive

A unique app developed in Vancouver, designed to help refugees arriving in a new country, is being launched globally by the UN’s refugee agency on October 11.



Sr_AcmMsOctober 5, 2016 – Canada’s Response to the Refugee Crisis – Lecture by Sabine Nölke, Ambassador of Canada

What ideals lie behind the Canadian approach to the Refugee Crisis? What are the similarities and differences with European approaches?


syrian-refugees.jpg.size.custom.crop.1086x724September 29, 2016 – Ottawa studies ways to ease Syrian refugee integration – The Star

Serious barriers facing more than 30,000 Syrian refugees seeking employment in new communities, documents say.


MCCALLUM-300x149September 26, 2016 – Canada called a leader in refugee crisis – Canadian Immigrant

Communities across Canada will be welcoming more Syrian refugees this fall. Approximately 6,000 more government-supported Syrian refugees will arrive by the end of December 2016, along with privately sponsored refugees whose cases have been finalized.


2016-royal-tour-to-canada-of-the-duke-and-duchess-of-cambrid25September 27, 2016 – Royal Visit: Syrian refugee family visits with Duke and Duchess – Vancouver Sun

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge join Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie Trudeau visit ISSofBC Welcome Centre during their Royal Tour of Canada on September 25, 2016 in Vancouver.


large_GYdTnULGWl_rdGWEdfQT6_geuET2geFbWvlIKjuULJMSeptember 26, 2016 – Child refugee numbers have soared, according to a new Unicef report – World Economic Forum

The number of child refugees has grown nearly 80% in just 5 years, according to a new report by Unicef.


grid_bild1September 21, 2016 – Job-Ready, Set, Go! – Cities of Migration

Join us online for enterprising ideas from Stockholm and Paris that are connecting talented young people to jobs while helping businesses tap the diversity advantage – it’s a win-win solution to youth unemployment.


o-bill-gates-570September 21, 2016 – Trudeau’s approach to refugees good for business – Vancouver Observer

Canada’s willingness to welcome tens of thousands of Syrian refugees is an “enlightened” move that will benefit the country’s business sector, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates says.


September 20, 2016 – Canada’s Private Refugee Sponsorship Program To Expand Around The World – The Huffington Post Canada/CP

Canada will export its program of private refugee sponsorship around the world with the help of the United Nations and billionaire George Soros, announced the Liberal government.


MVRRT September 19, 2016 – Refugee Private Sponsorship event – MVRRT

This event will bring together individuals sponsoring, working and volunteering with refugees as well as those considering doing so.



2016-07-mena-lebanon-photo-16September 15, 2016 – Refugee Education Crisis Requires a Global Employment Strategy – Human Rights Watch

What 15-year-old Rawan, a Syrian refugee living in Istanbul, wants most is simply to be back in school.


3063077-poster-p-1-refugees-wanted-meet-the-companies-creating-jobs-for-the-displacedSeptember 14, 2016 – Refugees Wanted: Meet The Companies Creating Jobs For The Displaced – Fast Company

From Chipotle and Starwood to a small business in Kansas City, companies large and small are learning that hiring refugees helps the bottom line.


12174501September 7, 2016 – B.C. ‘better prepared’ for new wave of refugees- Saskatoon Star Phoenix

The B.C. government and settlement groups are bracing for an new wave of roughly 1,500 government-assisted refugees from the Middle East for the end of this year.


mccallumSeptember 7, 2916 – Why you won’t be hearing about many refugees in Richmond – Richmond News

Of the 1,938 government-assisted Syrian refugees who made their way to B.C. since last November, only four have established roots in Richmond, the province’s fourth largest city.


khalid-and-ahmedAugust 13, 2016 – In a maple-leaf onesie, baby Ahmed is a ‘proud Canadian’ born to Syrian refugee family – CBC News

A family of Syrian refugees is welcoming a new Canadian baby into its midst.



welcoming-syrian-refugee-family-at-gander-airportAugust 29, 2016 – Private sponsors given choice of swapping delayed Syrian refugees for others – CBC News

Ottawa is offering certain private sponsors of Syrian refugees whose entry to Canada has been delayed to get replacement families.


now-bc-welcome-deskAugust 29, 2016 – Immigrant youth get schooled in Canadian education – CBC News

Hundreds of immigrant families got a lesson in how Canadian high schools work at this year’s Newcomers Orientation and Welcome to B.C. (NOW B.C) event Monday morning.


syrian-refugees-20151230August 29, 2016 – Arrival of second influx of Syrians will be smoother: immigration groups – Vancouver Observer

Most immigrant support groups say this fall’s expected surge in Syrian refugee families will be far more manageable than the impromptu turmoil that characterized the first wave of arrivals, which began nearly 10 months ago.



August 27, 2015 – Return to school a challenging milestone for Syrian refugees – Vancouver Sun

700 Syrian refugee students in B.C. are now mentally preparing themselves for the new school year. Many had their schooling interrupted, sometimes for years, because they had to flee their homes.


14464493171_533b9ad8c6_kAugust 25, 2016 – Library Champions Volunteer Work Experience Project – NewToBC

New immigrants can find Canadian volunteer work experience, improve their communication skills, make new friends and much more through the Library Champions Project.


Untitled-1-RecoveredAugust 25, 2016 – Sponsoring as a Group of Five and Sponsoring as a Community Sponsor events -Metro Vancouver Refugee Response Team

Metro Vancouver Refugee Response Team is organizing two evening information sessions for interested community members.


MVRRTAugust 25, 2016 – A networking event about Refugee Private Sponsorship – Metro Vancouver Refugee Response Team

This event will bring together individuals sponsoring, working and volunteering with refugees as well as those considering doing so.


Refugee_children_from_Syria_at_a_clinic_in_Ramtha__northern_Jordan_9613477263August 24, 2016 – Guide aims to help schools with Islamophobia in wake of Syrian refugee program – Times Colonist

Muslim organizations hope school boards can turn their attention to a growing problem for Syrian students: warding off the dirty looks they get a school.


web-na-teachers-0715August 24, 2016 – Schools in Surrey, B.C. expecting 300 more Syrian refugees – The Globe and Mail

The Surrey school district says it expects to receive about 300 more Syrian refugee students in the coming months, nearly matching its total from the last school year.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAaFAAAAJGMwMGQyZTAwLTA4NzMtNDNjNi05YmI2LTVlOWZlMmI1NmNmNgAugust 17, 2016 – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada – IRCC message from The Honourable John McCallum

Temporary public policy to facilitate the sponsorship of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by Groups of Five and Community Sponsors – renewal


dannyramadanAugust 17, 2016 – Syrian gay refugee activist Ahmed Danny Ramadan is proud to call Vancouver home – The Georgia Straight

While Danny Ramadan was a Syrian refugee, he is now helping others also come to Canada.


Iraqi_refugee_children,_Damascus,_SyriaAugust 14, 2016 – Iraqi refugees fared worse than others in first three years: internal study – BC Local News

Thousands of Iraqi refugees brought to Canada earned less money and found fewer jobs than refugees from elsewhere who arrived during the same period.


Canada's PM Trudeau shakes hands with a Syrian refugee during Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in OttawaAugust 9, 2016 – Getting Syrians here was easy. Now comes the hard part – Maclean’s

What happens when the refugees have to start supporting themselves? Officials are bracing for ‘month 13’.


banner-image_no_logosAug 9, 2016 – $20,000 Prize in Refugee Crisis Awareness Short Film Competition – VIFF

To inspire more people to help in the refugee crisis, the Radcliffe Foundation has offered a $20,000 prize for a 60-second short film that “inspires, engages and empowers Canadians to take action on the global refugee crisis.

2016-08-04T01-08-12.966Z--1280x720Aug 3, 2016 – Coquitlam mayor asking for help for Syrian refugees displaced by fire – Global News

The City of Coquitlam is appealing to the public for help this morning to aid victims of a recent fire.


frank-giustra-among-syrian-refugees-on-a-beach-on-the-grek-iAug 1, 2016 – How ‘entrepreneurial philanthropy’ is easing, if not solving, the Syrian migrant crisis – Vancouver Sun

With such tremendous suffering and hardship in the world — from victims of natural disasters to those fleeing wars — it often seems no one is able to do enough, quickly enough.


surrey-bc-march-9-2016-the-104-year-old-woman-was-amonJuly 29, 2016 – Blog: Busting five common myths about Syrian refugees – Vancouver Sun

With the first 2,000 of our new Syrian neighbours settling in now and another 1,500 set to arrive in the fall, Vancouver Sun Reporter addresses the common questions and misconceptions about refugees she hears from readers on a regular basis.


workshop_resizedJuly 27, 2016 – World’s leading experts gather at UBC to discuss refugee reform – UBC

The Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, in partnership with the University of Michigan, hosted a two-day workshop on refugee reform with some of the world’s leading and most influential refugee law scholars.


refugeesJuly 26, 2016 – Second Syrian refugee family arrives on Coast – Coast Reporter

The second family of refugees from Syria is now on the Sunshine Coast. They arrived on Tuesday, July 26 – about a month after the first family, who arrived on June 22.



vancouverpride2016_097July 25, 2016 – Why Syrian refugee Danny Ramadan is proud to be a 2016 Vancouver Pride marshal – The Georgia Straight

Danny Ramadan was one of several speakers at the Vancouver Pride Week proclamation ceremony held at Jim Deva Plaza today (July 25).


vancouver_art_gallery_ce8a473b-79fe-49f5-9246-50444dc08655July 25, 2016 – Vancouver Art Gallery welcomes Syrian newcomer families and new citizens with two unique cultural events this week -Press Release

The Vancouver Art Gallery is pleased to welcome Syrian newcomers and new Canadian citizens through two special events at the Gallery this week i partnership with the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC).


Consoling doctorJuly 21, 2016 – IHA responds to Syrians’ health – Merrit Herald

The Interior Health Authority has been working to improve health care for the Syrian refugees now living in B.C.’s Interior.



mohammed-alsalehJuly 18, 2016 – Refugee case moves forward – Burnaby Now

The Anglican Diocese of New Westminster filed an application to bring Mohammed Alsaleh’s family from Syria to Canada, and a Burnaby church has agreed to help with settlement services. –


burmese-refugee-familyJuly 15, 2016 – After 20 years in a refugee camp, Burmese family starts new life in B.C. – CBC News

A group of residents from Qualicum Beach, B.C. spent several hours at Vancouver International Airport on Thursday evening anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Burmese refugee family they had privately sponsored.


FundsJuly 13, 2016 – B.C. Rolls Out More Funds for Syrian Refugees – CTV News

In honour of Canada Day and the Canadian tradition of welcoming people from around the world, the province of BC provided a second round of funding July 1st to help refugees settle and integrate into BC communities. This second round of funding, totalling nearly 230,000, will allow continued support for Syrian refugees.


alhomsi-familyJuly 11, 2016 – Syrian refugee celebrates ‘amazing’ 1st Canada Day in B.C. – CBC News

For many Syrian refugees, this Canada Day was a particularly special occasion, as it was the first Canada Day spent in their new BC home. This is the Alhomsi family’s account of their first Canada Day.


unesco-logoJuly 1, 2016 – Correcting Media Myths about Refugees and Migrants – UNESCO

UNESCO, in an article posted on Canada Day, outlines and counters myths that are too often perpetrated by the current media in many countries. In providing relevant, factual and accessible information, UNESCO aims to illustrate realities of immigration and displacement of peoples.


NYT Canada DayJuly 1, 2016 – Privately-Sponsored Refugees Welcomed Across Canada – New York Times

Many Syrian refugees may face linguistic, cultural and distance-based challenges upon their arrival, associated with the move to Canada. These challenges are being embraced and countered by a truly Canadian tradition of ‘private sponsorship’ – essentially the ability for a small group or family to “adopt” a Syrian family.


thumbnail_Aid_Party-1June 30, 2016 – The Welcome Potluck Picnic – Island Tides

This edition of the Island Tides provides a comprehensive update as to events and current politics in Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast regions. Included is an article inviting local residents to participate in a picnic to welcome Syrian refugees who are located in Victoria (p. 5).Event hosted by The Mayne Island Syrian Refugee Support Group.


June 30, 2016 VIRCS Presents: Phoenix – A Musical Fundraiser for Syrian Refugees

Nelly Furtado and the Victoria Symphony, along with Neil Osbourne and Alex Cuba, will be performing live at the Royal Theatre on July 25th. Tickets can be purchased at


June 30, 2016 – Free Training for Interpreters and Translators in Thompson Okanagan & Kootenays

Free, all-day training sessions will be held on either July 9th in Kamloops or on July 16th in Kelowna. More information can be found here and here.


image new June 20, 2016 – Ministers mark World Refugee Day – Government of Canada

Today, an unprecedented 65 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18, have been forced from their homes. On average, a refugee will spend 17 years of his or her life in exile.


proxy June 20, 2016 – Province proclaims World Refugee Day  -BC Government

Today will be especially poignant for Canadians and British Columbians because of the large number of displaced Syrians coming to Canada. Since November 2015, British Columbians have welcomed 2,300 refugees to over 45 communities throughout the province.


Participants in a refugee art project stand with their work, on display at the Timms Community Centre. From left to right: Moo Doh Paw, Laura Knyaw and Truepayna Moo. June 16, 2016 – Refugees’ story of struggle told through works of art – Langley Times

For young Karen refugees living in Langley, it can be hard to put into words the struggles and hardships they faced to come here, as well as the challenges endured as they adapt and grow up thousands of kilometres from their homeland.



summitJune 16, 2016 – Penticton summit focuses on welcoming refugees and immigrants  -Global News

The first-ever A Welcoming Communities Summit was held in Penticton this weekend. Organizers of the two day event say the aim is to raise awareness about how to help refugees and immigrants adapt to life in Canada.


43218terraceDSC_0396June 15, 2016 – Syrian family gets acquainted with Terrace, B.C.   – Terrace Standard

The first Syrian family to arrive in Terrace is settling in after being greeted by a small group of sponsors and others at the Northwest Regional Airport June 15.



Jazz-Ladies-1200x800-300x200 June 13, 2016 – Westshore Refugee Fundraiser – CHEK Media

The Westshore Refugee Sponsorship Group (WRSG) is topping off World Refugee Day (June 20th) and WRSG Week in Colwood (June 20th to 24th) by holding a gala event.



maxresdefault June 13, 2016 – World Refugee Day event in Victoria – Greater Victoria Public Library

This event is taking place on the Lekwungen Territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.



The Al Samaneh family arrived in Canada. They include from left, Khadijah, 7, Yehia, 6, and Bashar, 5. Their parents are Palestinian refugees from Iraq rebuilding their lives in Canada through MCC's refugee assistance program. June 12, 2016 – Walk to mark World Refugee Day – Abbotsford News

Refugee families, sponsor groups and churches, support organizations and local residents will gather Saturday, June 18 for a special walk to celebrate World Refugee Day.


immigrant-kids-p-vJune 10, 2016 – Surrey home to almost half of B.C.’s Syrian refugees – Vancouver Sun

More Syrian refugees than expected have settled in Surrey, despite efforts by Ottawa and Victoria to send more of them outside the Lower Mainland, figures from the Immigrant Services Society of B.C. reveal.


chris-friesenJune 7, 2016 – Planning table lays out strategy to help refugees, immigrants – Burnaby Now

Chris Friesen, co-chair of the Burnaby Intercultural Planning Table, says more refugees and immigrants will move to Burnaby in the future. The planning table is launching a three-year plan to build a more inclusive city for newcomers


parks-canada-house-for-refugee June 4, 2016 – Haida Gwaii volunteers build ramps for injured Syrian refugee girl – CBC News

A Haida Gwaii contractor and crew built ramps to accommodate a Syrian refugee family after their sponsors learned that the family’s four-year-old daughter lost both legs.


June 3, 2016 – Unique centre welcomes refugees, immigrants – Vancouver Courier

With each footstep, the visitor’s eye is drawn to plaque after plaque set into the concrete entrance way of the Immigrant Services Society of B.C.’s new “Welcome Centre.”


0506-fire-syrians-help1May 5, 2016 – Refugees help Fort McMurray fire evacuees – Calgary Herald

When Rita Khanchet saw images of a vicious wildfire destroying homes and uprooting tens of thousands in Fort McMurray, she immediately thought of Syria, the homeland she fled just five months ago with her husband and young son.


screen_shot_2016-04-25_at_4.52.44_pm_p3121848 April 25, 2016 – Syrian Family Arrives – Castanet

A Syrian refugee family is safe and sound in Vernon. The family arrived in the North Okanagan three weeks ago after not being able to find permanent accommodations in the Lower Mainland.


tima_kurdiApril 23, 2016 – TEDxEastVan: How Tima Kurdi became a voice for refugees – The Georgia Straight

Tima Kurdi feels a responsibility to speak up for the voiceless after three family members died while trying to reach Europe.


94398vernonSethWaterWalkApril 22, 2016 – Students walk for water – The Morning Star

On April 29, students will be walking to fundraise for clean water projects in Africa and to help those in the Bakaa Valley Refugee Camp. Funds raised will be split between the two causes.



11_15_44_0_14_15_44_424_DSC_0798April 21, 2016 – Refugee fundraiser features Syrian food and a live and silent auction– Campbell River Mirror

Where can you enjoy Syrian food and have a chance to win a diamond necklace in the same night? At a Syrian Refugee Fundraising Dinner and Auction this Saturday (April 23) at Campbell River Baptist Church.


C-Logo-onlyApril 21, 2016 – Careers for New Canadians – The Food Processing Human Resources Council

The world’s FIRST online food safety management training program for newcomers offers skilled individuals in their home countries the tools and knowledge needed to transfer into a successful career in the Canadian food and beverage industry.


25817surreynowHERRMANNmarilynApril 20, 2016 – Surrey Food Bank struggles to serve Syrian reguees – The Surrey Now

Staff at the Surrey Food Bank are holding their breath as they struggle to feed more than 600 Syrian refugees already requiring help.



12518vicnewsVN-refugees2PApr2016-WEBApril 20, 2016 – Life in Canada like a dream for Syrian refugee family– Victoria News

Osama and Hanaldi feel like they’re living in a dream. Ever since the Syrian refugees arrived in Victoria with their three young children in mid-December, they’ve been welcomed by the community with open arms.



mazen-khabbaz-and-his-family-are-one-of-two-syrian-refugeeApril 20, 2016 – Challenging frequent flyers to help refugees become frugal flyers so they can arrive in Canada debt-free – The Vancouver Sun

Getting from refugee camps in Jordan or Lebanon to Canada is expensive enough, but it can cost Syrian families thousands more to get from their Canadian arrival point to where they are going to settle.


CgL6LUXVIAAWaUYApril 16, 2016 – Syrian refugee children celebrated in East Vancouver school – News 1130

Some new kids to Canada got to celebrate today as a part of a United Way campaign. The children at Tecumseh Elementary also helped give the Syrian refugees a warm welcome.



web-nw-po-refugees-0410April 10, 2016 – Many Syrian refugees relying on food banks to feed families – The Globe and Mail

Many recently arrived Syrian refugees are relying on food banks to feed their families, forcing some locations to stock specific Middle Eastern food, enlist the help of translators and extend their operating hours.


Cfc6F44UMAA6nc0April 8, 2016 – Learn about Syria in Terrace – Facebook

Learn about Syria: Presentation and Discussion with Samia Madwar




indexadsfasdfadsfApril 8, 2016 – United Way of Lower Mainland needs volunteers  – United Way

On Saturday April 16, United Way of the Lower Mainland is hosting United for Refugees Welcome Lunches at community schools in  to help connect new refugees with people in their neighbourhood.


indexadfasdfdsfApril 8, 2016 – Join us for BC TEAL’s 48th Annual Conference – BC TEAL

The BC Refugee Project provides TEAL members with an opportunity to share their English language teaching expertise by volunteering to tutor and teach refugees unable to attend government-funded language classes in the Lower Mainland.



p2340480_p3117463 April 7, 2016 – Talking Syrian Refugees – Castanet

Dozens of people packed into a ground floor room in the Arts Building at UBC Okanagan Thursday afternoon to hear different perspectives on the Syrian refugee crisis.




April 3, 2016 – Syrian refugees to B.C. get their first taste of snow – The Vancouver Sun

Refugee Ali Nabeel calls himself half Iraqi and half Syrian, and on Sunday he was a full-on dude on a snowboard.



10173718_914443765275313_7583424638965603729_nMarch 31, 2016 – Hungry for Change: Fundraising Gala – Facebook

Want to help with the refugee crisis, but aren’t sure where or how? UBC Refugee Relief and Oxfam UBC, with the support of UCM at UBC and STAND UBC, are hosting a gala to help raise money for the private sponsorship of a Syrian refugee family of eight.



idomeni-refugee-campMarch 31, 2016 – Richmond volunteer recounts heartbreaking experience in refugee camp in Greece – CBC News

A Richmond resident is back home after an inspiring but heartbreaking trip to the Greek-Macedonian border, where she spent 10 days trying to help refugees find their way to safety.



49552mapleridgerefugeechildrenfun03301cMarch 31, 2016 – Trying to find their place – Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows News

Imagine packing your family of 13  – into a three-bedroom apartment – assuming you can find one in Maple Ridge for $875 per month. The people helping Syrian refugees settle into Maple Ridge say the federal government is providing housing allowances that will see these new Canadians pushed into the Lower Mainland’s worst neighbourhoods.



image newMarch 31, 2016 – McCallum to increase intake of privately sponsored Syrian refugees – BC Local News

Immigration Minister John McCallum reacted to a sustained public outcry Thursday by easing restrictions on the private sponsorship of Syrian refugees — a decision that will add thousands to the number of refugees arriving this year.



36766parksvilleWEBRefugee3-AR-mar30March 30, 2016 – Refugees arrive in Parksville – The Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Completing a six-year journey from Eritrea in East Africa, the first refugees of a recent wave have hit the Parksville Qualicum Beach shore.



160331_k10fb_rci-mccallum-geneva_sn635March 30, 2016 – Minister McCallum addresses UN conference on Syrian refugees – Government of Canada News Release

Today, at the High Level Meeting on Pathways for Admission of Syrian Refugees in Geneva, Canada pledged to continue to resettle refugees from Syria throughout 2016 and beyond.



index 4March 29, 2016 – Vast majority of Syrian refugees arrived healthy but challenges remain: study – The Vancouver Sun

The vast majority of the 26,000 Syrian refugees who arrived in Canada by the end of last month showed up healthy, newly published government data suggests.



46069nanaimoC-SyrianFamily-IMGP7048March 29, 2016 – Refugee camp provides little safety – Nanaimo News Bulletin

Mohammad Al Mansour describes his life before leaving Syria and the experiences of living as a refugee in Lebanon before he and his family were finally accepted into Canada.



refugees-jpg-size-xxlarge-promo.jpg.size.xxlarge.promoMarch 28, 2016 – Vast majority of Syrian refugees arrived in Canada healthy: study – Vancouver Metro

The vast majority of the 26,000 Syrian refugees who arrived in Canada by the end of last month showed up healthy, newly published government data suggests.



authorMarch 27, 2016 – North Vancouver author and life coach to offer insight – North Shore News

North Vancouver’s Claire Yeung will be guiding an interactive workshop and giving the keynote address at the upcoming Multicultural Women’s Conference and Fair Thursday, March 31 in Vancouver.



March 26, 2016 – Haida Gwaii sponsors anxiously waiting for Syrian refugees – Vancouver Sun

It’s hard to imagine a place that’s more different from a refugee camp or the bombed-out streets of Syrian cities and towns than Haida Gwaii, the lush archipelago off British Columbia’s north coast known for its soaring totem poles.



March 26, 2016 – MOSAIC Awarded Refugee Readiness Funds  – Link

The BC Government has announced that MOSAIC will lead the Metro Vancouver Refugee Response Team (RRT).



hd-mediaitemid27855-8060March 25, 2016 – Refugee welcome dinner to fundraise for Kamloops newcomers –

Several Syrian refugees have settled in Kamloops and a fundraiser dinner is scheduled to welcome them to the local community.



Contributed photo A birdhouse, painted by local artist Paul McNamara, is one of 145 birdhouses that will be auctioned off at There's No Place Like Home, a fundraiser for Syrian refugee families on Tuesday, March. 29.March 24, 2016 – Artistic community swoops in to help Syrian refugees – Victoria News

For a few moments every day, Paul McNamara stands at his window and watches crows flock to his yard.



11549707March 24, 2016 – Qualicum Beach getting ready for Syrian refugee family – The Parksville Qualicum Beach News

The Qualicum Refugee Support Group is almost ready and are waiting for what could be a sudden announcement.



iraq-refugees_p3106644_p3114013March 23, 2016 –  Refugees settling in – Castanet

It’s a long way from the war-torn Middle East to the Shuswap, but Syrian refugee families that have made the flight to safety are settling in to their new environment.



Youtube-RedoneMarch 22, 2016 – Kelowna Community Resources to head regional refugee settlement – The Daily Courier

A local organization is taking the lead on refugee settlement in the Thompson-Okanagan, focusing on expanding current services and ensuring consistency across the region.



SimonGibsonMarch 21, 2016 – Refugee Response Team Ready for Syrian Refugees – Simon Gibson Press Release

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society has been chosen to lead a Refugee Response Team in the Fraser Valley to help refugees settle and integrate into the community.



immigration-levels-20141031March 21, 2016 – At creating new businesses, immigrants outpace Canadian-born people, StatsCan finds – CBC News

The Korean who owns the pharmacy, the Portuguese building contractor, the Indian who started an accountancy practice — no matter what their place of birth, they’re creating jobs, for themselves and for others, Statistics Canada has found in a new study.



340March 19, 2016 – Syrian refugees bound for Campbell River delayed – CHEK TV

The community of Campbell River raised over $80,000 to help privately sponsored Syrian refugees when they arrive in Campbell River but that money is now being spent even though the refugees have not arrived.



11794981March 18, 2016 –  More money coming for rent, language classes for Syrian refugees in B.C. – The Vancouver Sun

John McCallum, Canada’s minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, sat down with The Vancouver Sun Friday for an interview that focused on the resettlement of Syrian refugees in B.C.



john-stark-initiative-for-neuroscience-and-dementiaMarch 18, 2016 – New Westminster detects shortage of housing for refugees – New Westminster Record

New Westminster is alerting provincial and federal housing authorities about a shortage of rental properties for refugees. The city’s multiculturalism advisory committee has raised concerns about the housing needs related to newly arriving Syrian and Iraqi refugees in New Westminster.


78280nanaimofundraiser_syria_IMG_6455March 16, 2016 – Fundraiser supports refugee family – Nanaimo News Bulletin

Residents of the Harbour City will gather in the Old City Quarter for a good cause this weekend. On Saturday (March 19), the Islamic Centre of Nanaimo Refugee Sponsorship Group will be hosting a silent auction fundraiser at St. Andrew’s United Church to support the Syrian family it has sponsored.


screen_shot_2016-03-14_at_3.50.29_pm_p3111444March 14, 2016 – Family of 7 for Revelstoke – Castanet

Rana Nelson is counting the days until a Syrian refugee family arrives in Revelstoke. Nelson is with Revelstoke for Refugees and the privately sponsored family of seven is expected to arrive within months.



navdeep-bainsMarch 14, 2016 – Thousands of Syrian refugees to receive refurbished computers – CBC News

Thousands of Syrian refugees are in line for refurbished computers to help them resettle into their new communities, jobs and schools. Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains held a news conference today to announce a one-time investment of $1.25 million to help distribute 7,500 computers to newcomers.


12321581_1698654140383187_1958686143597648515_nMarch 13, 2015 – Centennial Spring Classic Fun Run – Centennial Christian School- Terrace

Centennial Christian School is hosting their Annual Spring Classic Fun Run April 30, 2016. All monetary donations will be given to Terrace Supports Syrian Refugee Families.



Letter Size Amanda LindhoutMarch 10, 2016 – Best Selling Author Visiting Kelowna for Refugee Fundraiser – Kelowna Now

The Central Okanagan Refugee Committee is bringing a New York Times bestselling author for a special fundraiser in Kelowna to help out new refugees. Amanda Lindhout, an author, speaker, and journalist, will be speaking in Kelowna, Monday June 6th.


March 10, 2016 – Epic Project: refugee crisis – Maple Ridge News

Ninety students in the Comparative Civilizations class at Maple Ridge secondary picked three countries for the project: Syria, Ukraine and Vietnam. After researching the topic, students built a series of scenes in a classroom that explain the cause of the crisis in each country and what it looks like. They also show the movement of the people and the consequences of that movement.


March 1, 2016 – The Fundraising Page of Nicola Hill – United Way of the Lower Mainland

United Way of the Lower Mainland has launched an urgent fundraising appeal to help the Syrian refugees who are now starting to arrive in Canada and in the Lower Mainland.