International Refugee Rights Conference 2018 - Local Site Visits

On Wednesday 6 June, before the opening of the International Refugee Rights Conference, the Local Organizing Committee is inviting interested international participants to visit one or more organizations in Toronto.

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The organizations to be visited will include:

Afghan Women's Organization

Map thumbnailThe Afghan Women’s Organization (AWO) provides English language training and settlement services to all newcomers, with a special focus on women, their families, refugees and people who have experienced war and persecution.

AWO is also Sponsorship Agreement Holder; It has resettled many refugees from around the world.

It has welcomed newcomers and refugees from many countries including Central Asia, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa, assisting them in the first stages of their settlement process.

Website: afghanwomen.org

Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

Map thumbnailThe Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) is a non-profit founded by a group of Toronto doctors, lawyers and social-service professionals, many of whom were associated with Amnesty International. This community-based organization helps victims of torture, war, genocide, and crimes against humanity. It provides treatment, tools, and support that allows refugees to heal from trauma and become active members of the community.

Guests will receive a presentation about the work we do, a tour of the center, an opportunity to sit in one of the English Classes, to participate in an Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Guests will also receive a free copy of CCVT First Light Journal publication and an information package on torture to share back with their agency.

Website: ccvt.org

Christie Refugee Welcome Centre

Map thumbnailFounded by World Vision in 1989 and locate in the heart of Toronto, Christie Refugee Welcome Centre has provided emergency shelter and a warm welcome for refugee families from all ethnic, racial or religious backgrounds for nearly 30 years. Approximately 300 homeless refugee claimants (children and families) arrive at Christie each year where they are given the care, support and assistance they need to pursue their refugee claim and to reconstruct and begin their new lives in Canada.

Website: christiestreetrc.com

COSTI Reception Centre

Map thumbnailMeeting the needs of a diverse society since 1952, COSTI Immigrant Services is a community-based multicultural agency providing employment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrant communities, new Canadians, and individuals in need of assistance. COSTI uses a client-focused, proactive, and innovative approach in planning, developing and delivering its services. Its programs ensure that regardless of language or cultural barriers, people who arrive in Canada are able to use their existing skills, learn new ones, and participate actively in all aspects of Canadian life. Operating from 18 locations in Toronto, the Region of Peel and York Region, COSTI provides services in more than 60 languages.

Website: www.costi.org

COSTI Immigrant Services

Map thumbnailIn addition to the COSTI Reception Centre, COSTI would like to propose another site for delegates to visit: this is the Welcome Centre, which is managed by a unique partnership of five (5) immigrant serving agencies and the service delivery model which is based on a holistic, flexible approach that provides a broad range of cross-sector services and expertise to immigrants/newcomers under one roof.

Meeting the needs of a diverse society since 1952, COSTI Immigrant Services is a community-based multicultural agency providing employment, educational, settlement and social services to all immigrant communities, new Canadians, and individuals in need of assistance. COSTI uses a client-focused, proactive, and innovative approach in planning, developing and delivering its services. Its programs ensure that regardless of language or cultural barriers, people who arrive in Canada are able to use their existing skills, learn new ones, and participate actively in all aspects of Canadian life. Operating from 18 locations in Toronto, the Region of Peel and York Region, COSTI provides services in more than 60 languages.

Website: www.costi.org

The Crossroads Refugee Clinic at Women's College Hospital

Map thumbnailThe Crossroads Clinic complements the long-standing work being done in neighbourhood community health centres. It provide comprehensive medical services to newly arrived refugee clients for their first two years in Toronto. The medical team has a long history of having worked with hundreds of newly arrived refugees and is very familiar with the refugee process and all the stresses and challenges that it involves. The clinic provides a range of services including the management of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, full primary care for children (including immunizations), pregnancy care, family planning advice, annual health exams for people of all ages, and lots more.

This visit will also include an on-site tour of an embedded medical clinic run by the Crossroad Refugee Clinic of Women’s College Hospital.

Website: www.womenscollegehospital.ca/programs-and-services/crossroads-clinic/

FCJ Refugee Centre

Map thumbnailFCJ Refugee Centre serves refugees and others at risk due to their immigration status, and welcomes anyone asking for advice, counsel and support regarding these issues. It address systemic issues that newly arrived refugee claimants face in Canada, including lack of resources, marginalization, and discrimination. The FCJ Refugee Centre advocates in any way necessary for its clients, including assistance with paperwork, translation and interpretation, accompaniment, referral to immigration lawyers, orientation to local social services, skills development, and counselling to support a healthy and positive start to life in Canada.

This site visit will include a review of the challenges and services for Precarious Migrants and how we provide settlement services and information on the refugee process.

Website: www.fcjrefugeecentre.org

Humanity First

Map thumbnailHumanity First is a humanitarian relief organization registered in over 50 countries across 6 continents, and has been working on human development projects and responding to disasters since 1995. Based in Vaughan, Ontario, Humanity First Canada is an international non-profit volunteer based charitable organization providing relief and assistance to the less fortunate in Canada and across the globe to alleviate poverty and improve their quality of life. Humanity First is also in forefront of assisting, sponsoring and resettling refugees in Canada.

Website: www.humanityfirstcanada.ca

Immigration and Refugee Board, READY TOUR

Map thumbnailReady Tour is a unique program that allows refugee claimants to see an actual refugee hearing room at the IRB location and learn what happens during a refugee hearing. When delegates of the international conference sign in for the Ready Tour they will be able to see the hearing rooms and representatives from the IRB will explain details about the hearing process. Also, there will be a brief introduction on the Refugee Appeal info session, usually offered to refugee claimants after the Ready Tour.

Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), Catholic Crosscultural Services

Map thumbnailCatholic Crosscultural Services (CCS) is a charitable organization providing services that assist in the settlement and integration of immigrants and refugees.

This site visit will include a tour of our office, an introduction of our RSTP services and Settlement and Integration services offered by Catholic Crosscultural Services. A brief presentation of RSTP’s activities and about the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program,

Sojourn House

Map thumbnailSojourn House provides emergency shelter and transitional housing services to newly arrived refugees coming from all parts of the world. It provides a safe place and an inclusive environment to people who have had the refugee experience. Sojourn House is dedicated to providing the best possible settlement services and programs that help residents transition and integrate into the community. Since its induction in 1987, Sojourn House initiatives have served thousands of refugees. With decades of experience and being one of the first refugee housing facilities in Toronto, it takes pride in being a leading organization in refugee care.

The visit would include a tour of the facility and description of our history, program and services model of the shelter and transitional supportive housing programs and information sharing on asylum seekers access to services, housing, the legal process and barriers to settlement.

Website: www.sojournhouse.org

Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership Project

Map thumbnailLocal Immigration Partnerships (LIP) are local planning bodies whose objectives include improving the social and economic integration outcomes of vulnerable newcomer populations through the creation and implementation of settlement strategies and service action plans; involving newcomers, settlement service organizations, employers and other neighbourhood stakeholders in a process to develop a Partnership Council and create and promote the settlement strategy; creating and implementing a detailed settlement service action plan and new pilot initiatives in the areas of service coordination and mentoring. There are five LIPs in Toronto, four community-based quadrant LIPs and a city wide LIP coordinated by the Toronto Newcomer Office.

This visit will be combined with a visit to City Hall, a tour of Toronto City Hall.

Delegates will meet with representatives from all 5 LIPs. The LIP staff will do a short presentation about what LIPs are, what we do, and showcase a joint initiative.

Delegates will also meet with representatives from our Newcomer Council, which is an advisory body to the LIPs that combines leadership training for newcomers with the opportunity to influence LIP decision making. Newcomer Council members include current or past refugees, who can speak with delegates about their own experience as well as their role on Council.

Website: www.torontolip.com

Sites & Schedule

Christie Refugee Welcome Centre 10am-12pm
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture 10am-12pm
COSTI Reception Centre 10am-12pm
COSTI Immigrant Services 10am-12pm
Immigration and Refugee Board, READY TOUR 10am-12pm
Sojourn House and the Crossroads Refugee Clinic at Sojourn House (*lunch provided) 10am-12pm
Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership Program (*lunch provided) 1pm-3pm
Humanity First 3pm-5pm
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program, Catholic Cross-cultural Services 3pm-5pm
Afghan Women’s Organization 3pm-5pm
FCJ Refugee Centre 3pm-5pm

How to sign up

To confirm your interest, rank your top three sites, in order of preference to visit by Monday May 28 2018. All interested participants will be contacted by Wednesday May 30 2018 with further details.

*Please note: Transportation will not be provided. All sites will be reached by public transit with a CCR volunteer to accompany attendees.

Some sites have a capacity on the number of visitors they can have. Please also take into consideration the location of the organizations and their available time frame for visitation when ranking your preferred site(s) to visit.

Based on interest, site capacity, location and travel time, more than one site may be visited during the time frame. In the case that a site fills up, interested participants will be informed of a second alternative.

For additional information or questions, please contact:
Sathya Thillainathan | National Trainer | Refugee Sponsorship Training Program | Catholic Crosscultural Services

55 Town Centre Court, Suite 401, Scarborough, ON M1P 4X4
Tel: 416.290.1700 Ext. 406
Toll-Free: 1.877.290.1701
Fax: 416.290.1710
[email protected]
www.rstp.ca

 Sign up for a visit