Together Project
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Photo: Sarah Bodri

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Newcomers and volunteers working together to build more welcoming communities.

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Interview with Steering Committee Volunteer – Leith Bishop #togetherhello

We interviewed Leith Bishop, who has been a volunteer on the Together Project Steering Committee since 2019.

She shares her thoughts on refugee integration, long-term dreams for Together Project, and more. Click the link below!

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Together Project Featured as an Example of Innovation in the Settlement Sector

Dr. Juanne Nancarrow Clarke, professor of anthropology and sociology at Wilfred Laurier University, and Taylor Marlow, M.A. graduate in sociology, have just published new research on the needs, challenges, and best practices in refugee sponsorship and resettlement in Canada.

Their research found an “outpouring of care, commitment and organizing [which] demonstrates the potential capacity of volunteers to fill gaps in the Government and community services available for newcomers in Canada.”

One of their five examples of innovative approaches in the sector was Together Project’s Welcome Group Model, which “demonstrates the creative ways that the private sponsorship approach (connecting citizens with refugees during initial resettlement) can be effectively adapted to other streams of newcomers.”

Read more of their findings here!

Interview with Daniel Reed – Welcome Group Volunteer

“People sometimes talk about refugee issues like they are experts,” says Welcome Group volunteer Daniel. “I don’t think, until you see what folks go through in their daily lives, you can really understand, or even begin to understand the challenges and odds newcomers are up against.”

Read more of his story below!

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ANNOUNCING OUR NEW WELCOME GROUPS FOR REFUGEE CLAIMANTS PILOT PROGRAM!

Together Project is pleased to announce our new Welcome Groups for Refugee Claimants one-year pilot program, with support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. We are currently seeking groups of five or more volunteers in the Greater Toronto Area to be matched with a refugee claimant youth (ages 18-25), single parent household, or families of four or more for six months of social support. To foster social connections, Together Project works with refugee claimants to establish newcomer-defined priorities for the match that will help create a common purpose and shared goals as an underpinning for social connection. The success of the match will be measured based on a newcomer-defined perception of an increase in social connection and a decrease in social isolation. Volunteers receive training and support. Please refer to our volunteer training manual and refugee claimant resource listing here. To register a Welcome Group, click here. Please email hello@togetherproject.ca to learn more.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER JAMES THUCH MADHIER SPEAKS ABOUT THE NEED FOR “RADICAL EMPATHY” AT TOGETHER PROJECT’S ANNUAL FUNDRAISER

Keynote speaker and refugee newcomer from South Sudan, James Thuch Madhier, stood before the crowd at Together Project’s 2019 Fundraiser and spoke about resilience and freedom against all odds.

At 15 years old, Madhier lived in Kakuma Refugee Camp, which he described as one of the harshest places on earth.

At the camp, he found out about the power of having a place called home.

“I learned how important it is for each and every individual in this room to call himself or herself ‘Canadian’ and to actually understand what comes with that – the immense privilege,” he said.

“The term ‘refugee’ refers to a temporary status, but then how temporary is it for people who are refugees for 20, 30, or 40 years? How temporary is that?”

Read the full story in the Toronto Observer.

Interview with May Tyrrell – Welcome Group Volunteer

“I have a much stronger connection to Syria than I did before and it’s more important to me now in a whole new way,” said Welcome Group volunteer May Tyrrell.

For May’s thoughts about her experience as a volunteer, click below!

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