"It’s also worth noting how Canadians have come together across social, economic and geographic barriers to contribute to the project. The very process of partnering and sponsoring Syrian refugees and helping them settle has forged new bonds and strengthened ties of community between citizens, organizations and government. WelcomeHomeTO had the incredible privilege of hosting a first-ever conversation about systematic settlement challenges where government, government-funded agencies, civic groups and newcomers participated as equals with shared purpose.
"These new partnerships and understandings have resulted in some extraordinary innovations. Not long ago, the idea of government agencies partnering with grassroots organizations to collaborate in the provision of settlement services was unheard of. The only role for citizens was to offer money or volunteer with existing organizations; now, we have pop-up clothing stores where everything from time to space and working hours is donated. We have Apps that help these new Canadians find Arabic-speaking health service providers or the best place to get Syrian bread."