SCF formed during the first-wave of Syrian Refugees arriving in Canada to help support the successful settlement of these vulnerable newcomers. We addressed the most immediate needs of newcomers through programming that assisted them in receiving shelter, healthcare, and English language skills.
The Syrian Health Care Project:
The SCF formed a Medical and Health Committee, with over 90 volunteers, to ensure the physical well-being of vulnerable newcomers living in temporary residences. The committee achieved our program objectives by:
- researching available resources and newcomers health concerns.
- networking newcomers with health centres, pharmacies, physicians, and dentists.
- connecting newcomers to medical professionals who speak their language.
This temporary program served newcomers in an area of immediate need. SCF scope has expanded to mental health outreach to reduce the stigma among newcomer communities in this area of well-being.
Find a Home Program:
For Syrian newcomers living in temporary residences, finding permanent homes was an urgent need and top priority for many families. SCF formed a Housing Committee with a team of 25 volunteers lead several activities including:
- researching newcomer house specifications and budgets.
- matching dozens of newcomers with available residences.
- escorting newcomers on house viewings.
- assisting families in filling out lease agreements and other paperwork.
SCF’s frontline work in this program helped many newcomers begin to feel at home. Currently, we believe that newcomers needs have changed and we have adapted our approach to offer support in those areas.
English in Temporary Residences Class:
SCF recognized the importance of English language training for newcomers, so we provided a pop-up ESL Micro-school at the Toronto Plaza Hotel for newcomers to practice their English. Our program reached outcomes such as:
- serving 115 Syrian newcomers from ages 8-33.
- enhancing English speaking skills through immersion in the language.
- coordinating with 30 devoted volunteers from diverse backgrounds.
These short term classes introduced learners to the ESL LINC program as well as equip us with feedback to enhance future programming. We operate our English Tutoring program with the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.
Be a Kid Again Program:
SCF hosted 12 weekend events at newcomers’ temporary residences for refugee youth. Through a generous grant from the Toronto Arts Council, and help of 100 volunteers, newcomer children could capture their childhood by:
- entertaining them with hours of games and activities.
- hosting performances from art facilitators, teachers, and musicians.
- introducing them to a multitude of cultural mediums.
- donating gifts to each child.
SCF recognizes the importance of investing in the younger generation. The experiences from this past program has advanced our current Q2 Youth Empowerment Project, that provides many resources such as mentorship for youth.