As refugees build new lives in British Columbia, stories begin to unfold highlighting achievements and progress of the resettlement movement.


January 7, 2018 – Vancouver Sun: Syrian refugees have more to celebrate than just the holidays




January 6, 2018 – Times Colonist: For a Somali refugee, what it’s like to be Canadian




January 3, 2018 – CBC News: Residents of small B.C. town help Syrian refugee realize artistic dreams – Isam Sharkiye creates hammered copper art pieces and sculptures in Fort Nelson, B.C.



January 2, 2018 – Business VancouverNew career in B.C. made to measure for Syrian tailor – Surrey’s DiverseCity community resources society helps refugee launch clothing line.



December 31, 2017 – HuffPostRefugees To Canada Share What They Appreciate About Their New Home

“People are very welcoming here”.



November 17, 2017 – Delta Optimist: Delta affirms support for refugee families




November 2, 2017 – BC Local News: Art Surviving – Fundraiser art show for Syrian refugee artists,  father and son Syrian artists Saad Zwayne and Amr Zwayne




November 2, 2017 – Cowichan Valley Citizen: From successful fundraisers to Cowichan Foundation




August 30, 2017BC Local News – Refugee family looks back on their first year in Castlegar




August 21, 2017 – Video – Welcoming Refugee Children in Vancouver and Burnaby, British Columbia: What can we do to support refugee children’s healthy development and build inclusive, welcoming communities together? With partners across the Lower Mainland (BC), Equitas builds a culture of openness and respect within communities, helping refugee children and their families feel safe, participate in human rights value-based activities and develop a sense of belonging. Learn more here: Equitas


August 13, 2017 – Canadian Cycling Magazine (August 13, 2017) – The success of a Vancouver program that familiarizes new Canadians with city by bike: This summer’s bike-hosting program, organized by HUB Cycling and Immigrant Services Society of B.C., is full, reports say.



August 7, 2017 – The Runner  – Refuge in Surrey: Stereotypes, survival and sanctuary – KPIRG hosts seminar event to teach KPU students about refugees




August 7, 2017 – Metro News Newcomers jump into cycling culture with bike orientation program: The 3-month program, hosted by HUB and ISSofBC, introduces immigrants and refugees to the city’s cycling rules and culture.



August 6, 2017 – CBC News – New Canadians learn to cycle the city in Vancouver bike host program: The program matched 16 local cyclists with 16 newcomers from different countries



August 3, 2017 – Vancouver Sun  – Home, Shelter, Belonging: The meaning of space at Harmony Arts Festival and West Vancouver Museum




July 21, 2017 – North Shore News – Syrian-born photographer documents refugee family in flux: Harmony Arts Festival collaborates with West Vancouver Museum to present Hani Al Moulia’s images.



June 26, 2017 – UNHCR – The Hungarian entrepreneur who styled a new life in Canada – The story of a former refugee from Hungary who arrived in Canada in 1967.




June 18, 2017 – Metro News – UBC students to host summer camp for refugee children new to Canada: East Vancouver Newcomer Camp (EVNC) will give recently arrived children, ages six to 12, a head start by offering them basic English lessons and organized activities before school starts in September.



June 13, 2017 – CBC News – From Syrian refugees to business owners in 1 year.

Syrian couple who came to Victoria, BC as refugees open new business making food.



June 9, 2017 – The Globe and Mail – Finding refuge in Syrian flavours. A monthly pop-up is offering Canadians a rare opportunity to savour the authentic tastes of the Middle Eastern country.



June 9, 2017 – Saanich News – Syrian refugee to share his story through music at Saanich concert. Violinist Sari Alesh headlines Heartstrings, a musical fundraiser for two local churches and the Vancouver Island Counselling Centre for Immigrants and Refugees.



June 7, 2017 – CBC News – Airbnb launches global platform to help connect hosts to refugees.

Company says it is not making money from new platform; NGOs will help match hosts to refugees.



June 6, 2017 – Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI) – Sponsorship Experiences Video




June 4, 2017 – Metro News  – Volunteers find creative solution to house refugees in Coquitlam, B.C.

Community group helping to repair derelict rental units to house large refugee families.


May 29, 2017 – Syrian pop-up dinners help refugee women and share delicious food – CBC News British Columbia

Tayybeh, A Celebration of Syrian Cuisine, provides opportunity for refugee women facing barriers.


donate_520x200March 9, 2017 – Victorians “incredibly welcoming” towards Syrian refugees – Victoria News

It’s been a year since a few hundred Syrian refugees flocked to Victoria as part of the federal government’s plan to resettle25,000 of them by the end of February 2016.


230217-asw-mahazr-and-ahmed_ndf9629-webMarch 9, 2017 – They fled war in Syria. Today, they manufacture emergency equipment for Canadians – National Observer. Ahmad Hwichshan, left, and Mazhar Aldarwish, working at F.A.S.T. in Delta. Arriving from Syria, both found employment quickly after arriving with their families in Canada.




March 1, 2017 – Syrian women find confidence and community in Canada through catering events – National Observer

The Tayybeh dinner events are the brainchild of Nihal Elwan, a Vancouver-based consultant who specializes in researching and developing economic and social inclusion programs, with a focus on gender and youth.


FactsFeb26_finalFebruary 24, 2017 – Laying out the welcome mat –  The Globe and Mail

Most people are simply curious. Many want to help. When I first conceived the idea to sponsor a family after reading an article in the newspaper in 2015, my initial conundrum was who to ask.


prnewswire_logo-470x259February 23, 2017 – Syrian refugees join BC’s skilled workforce – CNW

In a real-life example of Canadian support for the world’s refugees, a collaboration between the Roofing Contractors Association of BC (RCABC) and Parker Johnston Industries demonstrates that in BC’s construction community, New Canadians are not only welcome but valued.


51321nanaimorsz_170216-nbu-syrian-refugee-barber-_1February 13, 2017 – Refugee gains employment with unique barber skills – Nanaimo News Bulletin

Rashad Kadah, holds a pair of scissors at Sports Barbers in Nanaimo. Kadah, an experienced barber, is one of a handful of Syrian refugees who have found employment in the Harbour City.


purple-parachuteonlineFebruary 2, 2017 – BC Start-Up Purple Parachute Sends Toys to Syrian Refugees – The Heights

Now in its fifth year, the Shea Venture Competition is a competition for aspiring entrepreneurs. Formerly known as BCVC, the Shea Venture Competition takes ideas from BC students and puts them to the test in Social Innovation and Traditional Business Tracks.


stepping-stonesJanuary 8, 2017 – ‘Stepping stones’: Children’s book tells Syrian refugees’ journey through stone art – CBC News

Artist Nizar Ali Badr’s illustration of Syrians travelling while carrying all of their belongings on their back inspired author Margriet Ruurs to write a children’s book featuring his work.


web-refugees-translator02nw1 (1)January 2, 2017 – B.C. volunteer connects Syrian women refugees through love of homeland’s cuisine – The Globe and Mail

Born in Cairo, Ms. Elwan speaks English, French and Arabic and has worked for government and non-governmental organizations in the Middle East for more than a decade on issues including domestic violence and child marriage.

bc-refugees-multicultural0101nw1January 1, 2107 – Helping refugee families in B.C. navigate the Canadian school system – The Globe and Mail

On paper, Abeer Al-kozbary’s job title is multicultural worker – a staffer with the Surrey school district who helps immigrant and refugee children integrate into the Canadian school system.

syrian+passportDecember 30, 2016 – Vancouver hotel manager guided newcomers into Canadian life – The Globe and Mail

General manager Khaled Ali is used to helping guests of his downtown Vancouver hotel. But earlier this year, he went beyond his regular duties to shepherd a special group of families into a new life in Canada.

syrian+passportDecember 29, 2016 – Vancouver startup internships help refugees move into job market – The Globe and Mail

For Aslan Kanshaw, the prospect of finding a job as a newly arrived refugee from Syria was daunting. Even something as simple as a résumé had different requirements than he was used to back home.

bc-refugee1226nw1December 28, 2016 – Syrian refugee family settling into new life in Burnaby, B.C. – The Globe and Mail

Raid Abazeed and Manar Ahmed just had their baby when the call came asking if they would be interested in moving from their exile in Jordan to Canada. A month later, the young Syrian refugee family was on a plane to Vancouver.

imageDecember 10, 2016 – 12 stories about Syrian refugees in Canada that warmed our hearts – CTV News

A year ago 163 Syrian refugees arrived at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Waiting to greet them was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who shook hands with the families, handed out stuffed toys to children and even helped them find coats.


syrian-women-refugees-prepare-food-mount-pleasant-neighbourhood-houseDecember 3, 2016 – Syrian refugees give back to Vancouver community through food – CBC News

A group of Syrian women hosted a dinner at the Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House on Saturday to say thanks for the help they have received in settling in their new country.


for-jane-mundy-story-annie-and-iqbal-serve-lunch-from-backDecember 1, 2016 – Vancouver volunteer uses past skills as a cook to assist refugees – Vancouver Sun

When my friend Laurie Cooper asked if I’d consider volunteering at a refugee camp, I didn’t hesitate. I wanted to do something for the Syrian refugees coming to Vancouver, but I couldn’t offer accommodation or much money.


rabbi-dan-moskovitzNovember 18, 2016 – Refugee crisis: Vancouver Jewish temple raises $40K to sponsor Syrian family – CBC News

Relations between Israel and Syria have been tense since the mid-1990s — the nations have fought against each other in several wars, and have never had formal diplomatic relations.


jorge-with-his-onNovember 18, 2016 – Former teen refugee recognized this week for helping immigrants – CBC News

Jorge Salazar is one of five “multicultural champions” profiled this week. When he was a teenager, he and his family left Colombia to seek refuge in Canada. He now has three children of his own and lives in Vancouver, working to help immigrants.


damascus_01November 18, 2016 – A young Iranian helps Syrian refugees adjust to Canada – Vancouver Observer

Attar, a young Iranian-born immigrant, came to Vancouver a year ago as a freshman. He studied hard at university and by the end of his first year had made the Dean’s list. In June, he began volunteer mentoring for Syrian refugees. In September, Attar won two excellence awards for his volunteer work.


2016-11-09T02-31-09.533Z--124.5_848x480_804412483829November 9, 2016 – B.C. pilot project looks to find jobs for Syrian refugees – Global News

A new pilot project has teamed with British Columbia’s manufacturing sector to provide jobs for Syrian refugees, helping them integrate into their new country and boost jobs in the industry at the same time.


vka-status-barber-0161-jpgOctober 27, 2016 – Syrian refugee grateful for fresh start in Victoria– Times Colonist

When Hani Shehab learned to cut hair in a Syrian prison as a teenager, he had no idea it would help him land his first job in a faraway place called Victoria.



October 23, 2016 – War now peace: Syrian refugees making a new home on Haida Gwaii – Haida Gwaii Observer

Hasan Sirhan shows his children how to say hi to Carl Coffey’s dog Shadow on the back deck of their home in Queen Charlotte. Hasan and Lama Sirhan moved to Haida Gwaii with their six children in August after spending three years in Jordan as refugees from the Syrian civil war.


rainbow_refugee_Indiana_Joel_illustrationOctober 17, 2016 – Vancouver’s ‘circles of hope’ – Daily Xtra

Inside some of Vancouver’s refugee sponsorship groups, members are getting ready to welcome LGBT newcomers.



saedOctober 12, 2016 – City helps Syrian refugee gain employment experience – The Mirror

For the past nine weeks, Osama Saed has been working for the City of Dawson Creek, filling a vacancy at a summer job position after a student left the program early.


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

Please talk to us more, get to know refugees in Canada better and be our friends. That’s the message from 19-year-old Syrian refugee Fadia Jouni, who arrived in Canada one year ago.


30021672362_6bc6113387_nOctober 6, 2016 – Syrian Refugee Youth Consultation & Community Stakeholder Forum – ISSofBC

Close to 60 Arabic speaking Syrian youth got together to share experiences of their first 8 months in Canada and make recommendations on settlement needs in BC.


86742nanaimoNabilSponsorshipLogo-WebSeptember 29, 2016 – Songs for Syria benefit concert raising money for refugee sponsorship – Nanaimo News Bulletin

Musicians are performing during a benefit concert to raise money to sponsor a Syrian refugee family to come to Nanaimo.


syrian-familySeptember 26, 2016 – ‘It’s difficult for us’: Syrian family adjusts to life in Victoria – CBC News

Six months ago, Mostafa Ismail was living in Turkey after fleeing Syria’s violent civil war, which had spread to his hometown Idlib and claimed the life of his father.


addie-tinholtSeptember 26, 2016 – 8-year-old refugee activist recognized on Parliament Hill – CBC News

Addie Tinholt of Vancouver will be getting special recognition for her refugee advocacy efforts at Parliament Hill


FullSizeRender+(21)September 4, 2016 – Syrian artwork at Penticton gallery highlights civil war – CBC News
An art exhibition in Penticton, B.C., is giving audiences a unique glimpse into the Syrian civil war. Behind the Lines showcases work from 19 Syrian artists.



imss-successSeptember 1, 2016 – Celebrating Newcomers’ Success – CKPG TV

Robin Choi came to Prince George to study English. He went on to earn a Business degree at UNBC, started his career in banking, and now, has achieved his dream of becoming a Realtor.


barfin-shaikoSeptember 1, 2016 – Syrian kids tell their stories their way – CBC News

The artists featured in a new Vancouver photography exhibition are recent refugees, but as their work shows, there’s much more to their life story than the way they came to Canada and the violence they fled.


562August 26, 2016 – The Photo Walk Helping Refugee Kids Find Safe Spaces in the City – Daily Vice

Refugee youth took part in a photo walk organized by Jayu, a human rights charity. The group wants to help these young people discover the city and find their idea of “home” in safe spaces across Toronto.



August 25, 2016 – BC Lions to welcome 175 refugees from Syria to Saturday’s game – BC Lions

The BC Lions are excited to welcome 175 refugees from Syria, who will be guests at Saturday’s game versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats


globalme-teamAugust 17, 2016 – Vancouver tech company offers paid internships for Syrian refugees – CBC News

Finding work in a new country can be a challenge for anyone — especially refugees.
That’s why Globalme — a local company  specializing in technology and language — is hoping to help Syrian newcomers get a head start.


box-300x225July 15, 2016 – Writing about happy Syrian refugees – Pam Withers

All you need is a box to have fun. But the three kids in this box are special.
They’re recent Syrian refugees (arrived in February in Victoria, BC, Canada) who were invited to a family-day welcoming picnic on Mayne Island, BC, Canada, where I spend my summers.


ClaqVezVYAMOLwp June 20, 2016 – Students visit MOSAIC with care packages – Twitter

Grade 5 students from @Stratford_Hall visited @MOSAICBC with care packages 4 #refugees on #WRD2016 . U are awesome!



refugeesApril 20, 2016 – Settling into new lives in South Delta – Delta Optimist

South Delta’s Syrian refugee families are settling into their new lives in Canada in part thanks to Delta Safe Haven coordinators Diane Schmidt (far left) and Jim Short (far right).


vancouver-bc-april-14-2016-eliza-lutek-at-seaquam-secApril 18, 2016 – Aiding Syrian refugees by nurturing art and activism – Vancouver Sun

Take a look at the colourful work created by Seaquam Secondary School students who are holding an auction to raise funds for Syrian refugees in Surrey. The auction is part of a broader project aimed at both welcoming and humanizing the refugees.


volunteers-in-burnaby-assemble-neccessity-kits-for-syrian-refugees (2)April 11, 2016 – Volunteers in Burnaby assemble ‘necessity kits’ for Syrian refugees – CBC News

Volunteers in Burnaby assembled kits of basic amenities like soap, shampoo and diapers on April, 10, 2016 for newly arrived Syrian refugees to Metro Vancouver.



April 8, 2016 – BC Teal Charitable Foundation Climb for the Cause – BC TEAL

The Climb for the Cause is the major fundraiser for the new TCF Taiga Galli Memorial refugee Award which provides an annual award of approximately $3000 for a refugee wishing to study at a post-secondary educational institution in British Columbia.


syrian-refugee-boy-snowshoes-on-mount-seymourApril 3, 2016- Newly arrived Syrians enjoy snow day on Mount Seymour – CBC News

Hundreds of refugee families headed to Mount Seymour on Sunday to play in the snow, try skiing or snowboarding and have a barbecue.



11173922966_16a964be20_oApril 1, 2016 – Students, staff and faculty in support of the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Students, staff and faculty members at UBC are committed to making real and immediate change to the lives of newcomers seeking safe settlement in Canada. We’ve put together a list of events and initiatives happening around UBC and Vancouver as a start.


March 29, 2016- Syrian Refugee Outreach

Over the next several months, refugee families will be arriving from Syria (and surrounding areas). We will be hosting welcome events where we will provide new clothing and needed household items to help these families get settled into their new home.


waed-and-islam-al-abbasMarch 28, 2016 – Refugee families in Burnaby adjust to new life with help of Canadian mentors

A new program in Burnaby, B.C. is helping Syrian refugees by pairing them with a Canadian mentor that can help them understand life and culture in Canada.


imageMarch 20, 2016 – Syrian refugee connects with Canada through love of music – CTV News Vancouver

When Farooq Al-Sajee took the stage in Vancouver, B.C. on Sunday for a musical performance, there was a lot on his mind. He thought of the friends and family he lost in wars in Iraq and Syria – but he was also thinking of his new life in Canada.


54879VCRD104330157March 19, 2016 – Newly-arrived family of Alan Kurdi embrace Canadian culture through hockey – Campbell River Mirror

Almost immediately after Shergo Kurdi arrived in Canada, he picked up a hockey stick. The 15-year-old is the cousin of Alan Kurdi, the two-year-old boy who became a symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis when his lifeless body was photographed on a Turkish beach.


whistler-question-fb-logoMarch 14, 2016 – Volunteers prepare for Syrian refugees’ arrival – Whistler Question – Whistler

With a Syrian family set to arrive in Whistler in around a month, volunteers have kicked preparations into high gear. “It’s very exciting news,” said Sarah Morden, board member of the Whistler Refugee Response group.


mustafa-zakreetMarch 12, 2016 – Salmon Arm’s lone Syrian not so alone anymore – CBC News – Salmon Arm

Salmon Arm’s first Syrian refugee is no longer the only Syrian in town. Over the last few weeks, Mustafa Zakreet has helped welcome two other families to Salmon Arm.


ahmad-at-workMarch 9, 2016 – Syrian refugees find work against the odds – CBC News

Some Syrian refugees who have arrived in B.C. in recent months are bucking the odds by finding employment. According to data from the federal government, most refugees don’t find paying work in their first year in Canada.



March 2, 2016 – Retired B.C. teacher back in classroom helping refugee teens – CBC News – Burnaby

A retired teacher in Burnaby is giving back to her community by volunteering to teach English to refugee high school students. Patti Duggan has 37 years of experience — 25 years teaching ESL, and now, once a week, she teaches refugee teenagers.

syriangirlscropped-e1455911189929February 19, 2016 – United Way helps Syrian refugee families overcome trauma – United Way of the Lower Mainland

United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM) is investing $158,000 into mental health support programs to help the latest wave of Syrian newcomers arriving in the region.