In November 2015, responding to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, Canada launched the “Operation Syrian Refugees”, aiming to welcome more than 25,000 Syrian refugees in 100 days through different resettlement programs.
WelcomeOntario was created immediately after the government’s announcement. The goal of the website was to provide information about sponsoring programs and orientation for people who wanted to donate goods, housing, or to volunteer to support the newly arrived refugees. WelcomeOntario was also used as a platform to share Arabic content and resources, as well as news and events related to the private sponsorship of refugees. WelcomeOntario also offered a mapping tool that had curated lists of organizations uniquely suited to help this incoming group. It also provided a Discussion Forum for Lifeline Syria members to discuss and collaborate.
Today, the private sponsorship of refugees from different parts of the world continues to be an important part of Canadians’ response to ongoing crises around the world. WelcomeOntario continues to provide trustworthy information for private sponsors, settlement service providers and sponsored refugees and help improve the connection between them.
This site was created and is maintained by OCASI, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants, whose mission is to achieve equality, access and full participation for immigrants and refugees in every aspect of Canadian life.