Syrian Refugee Efforts

August 8, 2016
Supporting our New Neighbours

Late last year, the federal government announced that they would be welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada. These refugees have come in a mix of government and privately sponsored refugees. Government sponsored refugees have been destined for larger urban centres across Canada. Because these news stories have touched the hearts of many Canadians, the number of privately sponsored refugees is quite large; many of these refugees have ended up in smaller communities across Canada where private groups of all kinds have been their sponsors. Among other things, sponsors have found them housing, clothing and toys to help make their settlement less traumatic.

In short, regardless of where these refugees have gone, they have been welcomed.

The Canadian chamber network has been active across the country, assisting within their communities to help settle and engage our newcomers. Much of the initial effort has been to assist in settlement. Many of these settlement activities are completed and now, the focus starts to turn to how refugees can find work and integration into the economy. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship has challenged business to help the refugees settle through employment and jobs.

We want to capture the level of involvement that businesses have had in the initial integration and support of newly-arrived Syrian Refugees. We have heard many touching stories, and would love to hear many more. We would also like to gather some information about best practices and gain a big-picture perspective about where community efforts are being focused. Finally, we’d like to be able to share what we gather with others – so they might copy your good work!

So that we might gather some of this data, we would ask that you fill out this five to ten minute survey*, and show us how your company has helped in the effort.

Thank you!

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce

*If your company has had no involvement, please take a minute to click “no” throughout the survey to help give us the best overall perspective possible


April 4, 2016
Stone Road Mall Welcomes Guelph Syrian Refugee Families

Stone Road Mall is giving focus on the future by helping Guelph’s Syrian Refugee families that will soon call Guelph their home. Stone Road Mall is participating in the Guelph Chamber of Commerce Corporate Challenge, which is actively approaching local and nation-wide businesses to offer corporate donations.

Click here to read more.


April 4, 2016
Sleep Country Canada Donates Sleep Sets to Guelph Newcomers

On behalf of the Guelph Syrian Refugee Forum, we are extremely pleased to announce a corporate donation of 10 queen sleep sets made by Sleep Country Canada through the Sleep Country Cares program that supports well over a dozen charities.

Click here to read more.


April 4, 2016
Meridian Credit Union Values Guelph’s Syrian Refugees

With the continued support from a cross-section of the local business community, Meridian Credit Union has recently committed to offering competitive services in an effort to ensure a smooth transition for Guelph’s Syrian Refugee families. True to Meridian’s Commitment to Communities, Meridian will offer to help the transition into the Guelph community.

Click here to read more.


April 4, 2016
Costco Shares Commitment in Guelph Syrian Refugee Initiative

Guelph’s Costco Warehouse located at 19 Elmira Road has stepped forward by committing a $500 gift card donation that will go towards much needed food hamper items that are being coordinated by the Guelph Syrian Refugee Forum and the Muslim Society of Guelph.

Click here to read more.


March 21, 2016
Guelph Chamber of Commerce Employer Roundtable

Click here to see the presentation.


March 21, 2016
WIND Mobile & Lifeline Syria Extend their Support to Guelph Syrian Refugees

Over the past few months, the Guelph community has shown a measurable response to the plight of Syrians who have been forced to flee their homeland as a result of the civil war.

Click here to learn more.


March 21, 2016
Conestoga College’s role in supporting growth in Immigration

Click here for a brief overview of how Conestoga College is supporting the influx of immigrants/refugees and newcomers to the Waterloo Region over the upcoming months.


January 28, 2016
Guelph Chamber Launches Corporate Challenge Supporting Syrian Refugee Families

By Kithio Mwanzia

With the recent activities and mobilization efforts now in full-swing to support the 76 Syrian refugee families that will be coming to Guelph and area, there is a natural opportunity for local businesses to contribute and support the refugee settlement in our community.

As an organization we are here to foster community prosperity, which is why we have launched a Corporate Challenge to connect businesses to the joint Syrian refugee campaign efforts. As part of the initiative, the Chamber will lead the outreach and coordination of corporate donations and connect individuals and businesses that are interested in making donations.

We have had many conversations with business leaders on the opportunities for collaboration on this initiative and there remains a readiness and willingness from people to assist in all aspects of the settlement support activities, which is a true testament to how welcoming our community really is. Our intention is to trigger a wave of solidarity from businesses to join in the effort.

Joint discussions are also in the initial stages around skills-based training and employment opportunities to ensure the families can integrate into the economy, and I will be asking our member businesses to think about hiring refugees into their workforce.

Read more.

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