A shared sense of belonging.
Founded in 2016, Together Project started in Toronto in response to the large number of newcomer arrivals from Syria. Today, Together Project matches volunteers with refugee newcomers from over 25 different countries for social and integration support. Together Project is a charitable initiative on the MakeWay shared platform.
Anna is the management lead and co-founder of Together Project with a focus on communications, innovation, and community programs including the Welcome Groups for Refugee Claimants pilot program. With her co-director, Anna has helped develop Together Project’s emergent response to the pandemic, including a new model of remote social support for refugee newcomers.
Andrew is the programs lead and co-founder of Together Project. Prior to moving to Toronto, Andrew spent six years designing, implementing, and assessing community development initiatives across three continents. Since co-founding Together Project, he has been developing and directing its flagship Welcome Group Program, as well as working to measure and improve the initiative’s impact.
Ahmed is the Volunteer Coordinator at Together Project, but before he became an official part of the team, he successfully completed two matches as a Welcome Group volunteer. With his professional background in business development and operations and his personal background as a refugee and newcomer, Ahmed has the compassion and vision to help the Together Project team manage multiple relationships with volunteers, refugees, and stakeholders. His past work is full of successful collaborations with global names in technology, and he brings his expertise to expand the reach and operations of Together Project.
Jennilee is the Communications Coordinator of Together Project. She has worked with newcomers as a school settlement worker, journalist, community advocate, school board researcher, and federal public servant. With her background in writing, Jennilee believes in the power of stories to increase civic engagement, to shine a spotlight on community initiatives, and to capture moments of joy.
Leith Bishop is a former executive in the not-for-profit sector in Toronto. She has expertise in strategic operations and organizational design. Her professional specialty is around issues of inclusion and belonging. Together Project’s commitment to a new model of connecting newcomers and volunteers to accelerate integration attracted Leith to the organization right from its early days. She was invited to join the Steering Committee in September 2019, and to become its Chair in January 2021.
Hani joined Together Project Steering Committee in January 2019. As a newcomer and refugee himself, Hani brings his real-life experiences in the non-profit management, settlement, social work, community integration, and empowerment. Hani Co-Founded Immigrants Healthcare Support Network (IHSN) to mobilize health care professionals, equip and strengthen communities for better health services and awareness in GTA and all over Canada.
Kate’s experience as a volunteer with Syrian newcomers to Toronto resulted in an awareness of an important opportunity for civil society to play a meaningful role in the settlement and integration of Government-Assisted Refugees. This led her to co-found Together Project as an initiative where volunteers could have impact on the most vulnerable of newcomers by complementing the work of community agencies. In return, people would benefit from new learnings and greater cultural understanding. She is a serial entrepreneur, having launched and managed three related post-production companies over the last 20+ years. She is currently Partner and COO at Tendril Studio, a design and animation company based in Toronto and Sao Paulo. She has held board positions with Rethink Breast Cancer and a handful of media industry associations.
Patrick has over 20 years of experience in governance and fundraising for Canadian non-profit organizations and international NGOs. He is President of Adrem Brands, a natural health products company, and currently serves as a director and trustee of Lakefield College School.
Vanessa is a family physician at the Crossroads Clinic, a specialized primary care clinic for newly arrived refugees at Women’s College Hospital. She is also a lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health. Her research and teaching focuses on the health of refugee newcomers, with an aim of improving health systems and social supports responsive to their needs.
Shadi joined Together Project’s Steering Committee due to the increasing need of refugees and newcomers to integrate in society and get the necessary support. Shadi brings a wide range of expertise in education, training and professional development, meaningful community engagement, volunteer management and events planning; in addition to his experience in settlement and supporting refugees and newcomers through counselling and mediation.
Together Project is grateful for the support of the following founding donors, funding partners and program partners.
Promising Practices: Together Project – Remote Social Support for GARs and Refugee Claimants
Pathways to Prosperity, 07/09/2021
Building Welcoming Community: An update from our friends at Together Project
Social Impact Advisors, 07/08/2021
‘It’s so real! …it’s phenomenal!’: Ugandan refugee and local volunteer meet in person for first time
CBC Metro Morning, 11/16/2020
Want to give back while social distancing? Here are 4 ways to volunteer from home
CBC Life, 05/29/2020
How to Harness Online Volunteering To Provide Social Support for Vulnerable Newcomers
TechSoup Canada, 05/29/2020
Torontonians Gather with Barenaked Ladies to Embrace Refugees
Toronto Observer, 11/27/2019
Refugee Matching Program Celebrates 100 Matches
CBC Metro Morning, 01/02/2019
CBC Interview With Alkhouly Family And Their Welcome Group
CBC Player , 01/01/2019
From Friends To Family: Together Project Matches Newcomers With Local Families
CBC News , 12/31/2018
Helping Government-Assisted Refugees
CBC Metro Morning, 12/19/2017
Refugee Welcome Program Plans Thunder Bay Expansion
CBC News, Thunder Bay, 10/11/2017
Together Project Matches Government-Assisted Refugees With Canadian Volunteers
CBC News, London, 10/09/2017
Together Project Helps Government-Assisted Refugees Find Support and Friendship
Tides Canada 2016 Year in Review, 09/28/2017
We Day Family - Toronto, 09/28/2017
Overwhelming Number of Volunteers Wanted to Help Syrian Refugees
CBC Radio International, 07/09/2017
Settlement Agencies Unprepared for Volunteer Surge Amid Refugee Crisis: Report
The Globe and Mail, 04/09/2017
Private Sponsorship is not Panacea for Refugee Integration
The New Humanitarian, 04/04/2017
Refugee Lay Down New Roots at First-Time Visit to Toronto’s High Park
CBC News, 03/20/2017
Refugees in Canada Going Curling for the First Time
Canadian Refugees Learn to Curl
“Welcome to Canada”
The Globe and Mail, 03/15/2017
Syrian Refugees: One Year Later
The Agenda with Steve Paikin, 12/20/2016
Taking Refuge in Toronto
Toronto Life, 12/20/2016
Together Project Plays Matchmaker for Government-Assisted Refugees
Toronto Star, 11/23/2016
Government-Assisted Refugees Partner up with Canadians Thanks to Together Project
Metro Toronto, 11/16/2016
Phone: (647) 854-4494