Continuing in my series on volunteering in Canada, I wanted to spend some time talking about opportunities to help refugees in the country. One of the largest groups of refugees at the moment are Syrian refugees escaping the conflict in their homeland. Canada took in over 25,000 in 2015 and 2016, and while that is absolutely amazing, we still have a lot of work to do to help them integrate into Canadian communities and process their trauma. One organisation, the Arab Community Center of Toronto, does a lot: it’s an organisation that works to help all newcomers integrate into community while providing them with support. Volunteers are critical for the Arab Community Center of Toronto, so it definitely is a place to consider volunteering at if you’re in the region and have some time to spare.
The Arab Community Center of Toronto focuses on helping Arab newcomers, but provides services and support to all newcomers regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation. The center helps find employment for newcomers, and also provides a meeting place in the community for people to find information and support regarding immigration policies and paperwork, settlement services, and just socialisation.
The Arab Community Center of Toronto is always in need of volunteers, especially those who speak Arabic well enough to act as interpreters. Volunteers are needed to translate and interpret for Syrian refugees, and to tutor and mentor them; volunteers are also needed to help transport refugees and to help research their individual cases. If you’re interested in helping the organisation, check out their website here, or visit them at 555 Burnhamthorpe Roade, Suite 209 in Etobicoke, Ontario M9C 2Y3.