Sponsored Family Settlement and Integration

Program Overview

This program, funded by Ontario’s Refugee Resettlement Plan, is a two year initiative by the Welland Heritage Council and Multicultural Centre to enhance services and support to sponsored refugees and their sponsors.

This program relies on the collaboration of community organizations, schools, and volunteers with our settlement counselors to integrate newcomers into the community and access the services that they need to resettle successfully.

Focus

  • Reduce barriers
  • Social connection
  • Community involvement
  • Support Sponsors

Reduce Barriers 

To help reduce barriers to services for newcomers, we offer translation and advocacy services at local organizations and to help them access essential services like health care. We are also running a homework club, which is currently at Notre Dame High School in Welland, but can be introduced at any other school where students need tutoring, especially because of language barriers, to complete their homework and keep up in their classes. For adults, we offer weekly Conversation Circles, where newcomers have an opportunity to practice their conversational English in a casual setting.

We will be offering a training workshop called Ready to Rent. The Ready to Rent program is a series of six, two hour workshops to tell newcomers everything that they need to know to be prepared to rent an apartment or home in Canada. Dates coming soon!

If you would like to have a homework club introduced at your school, or require translation or advocacy services, please call 905 732 5337 ext 122. 

Social Connection 

Facilitating social connections between refugee families, other newcomers, and Canadians is one of the most important ways in which we can make everyone feel welcome in our community. To this end, we are looking for volunteers (families, youths, individuals) to join our team and partner with a newly settled refugee family for up to one year on a weekly basis to share personal experiences, learn about life in Canada, and share cultures. Volunteers and families will be prepared in advance to enter this partnership, and a settlement counsellor will facilitate the relationship in the beginning to make sure that it is mutually beneficial for both parties. This partnership should be an opportunity to learn from each other while forging lasting friendships.

If you are interested in volunteering with this program, please call 905 732 5337 ext 122. 

We are also offering weekly youth meetings and youth mentorship, including leadership training, to facilitate peer-to-peer discussions between refugee and Canadian youth to discuss issues that they care about, prepare for their futures, and create friendships. At intermittent times we will be having recreational and cultural activities that Canadians and newcomers can celebrate together. See our Events page for more details.

Community Involvement 

 As part of this program we assist refugees to find meaningful volunteer work that relates to their career field, expanding their social and professional networks. Our partner organization, Employment Solutions, also assists newcomers with finding employment and offers mentorship and certificate workshops. We also assist youth refugees to find volunteer work to complete their school community service requirements and prepare for their future careers. 

If you are an organization interested in partnering with us to facilitate volunteer opportunites for refugees, please call 905 732 5337 ext 122.

Support Sponsors 

We assist sponsors to empower the families that they have sponsored and help break down any communication barriers. We also provide any information that sponsors may need to assist the families that they have sponsored. We set up strategic meetings with Sponsors to help plan for the future of their families, and prepare to transition to Month 13.