Community Foundations of Canada

Welcoming Syrian Refugees

In December 2015, Canadians united around a commitment to welcome 25,000 refugees from Syria. Alongside the government and private sector, Canada’s community foundation network stepped forward to contribute its knowledge and resources.

Together with initial contributions from government and private sector partners, Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) established the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees to respond to the urgent gap in affordable housing and other immediate settlement needs. With speed and nimbleness, CFC's philanthropic network was among the first to invest in community-driven solutions to support the successful settlement of government-sponsored families arriving from Syria.

To date the Welcome Fund has mobilized knowledge and connections to support local organizations in 27 communities across the country and has invested in everything from rent subsidies and emergency loan funds to language training and mental health care.

CFC understands that the priorities for Syrians who now call Canadian communities home will continue to evolve. And we know as a network CFC will need to adapt too. If CFC is going to strengthen belonging in Canada, it must first strengthen the relationships with people around it and ensure communities are as welcoming to difference and diversity as possible.

There’s still much work ahead, but the Welcome Fund has taught CFC that when communities work together they can have an extraordinary impact on what matters most to our communities and our countries.

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