Settlement organizations help Afghan refugees adjust to new life in Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Ottawa, Ontario – The Government of Canada is working hard to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan nationals as quickly and safely as possible. Canada has now welcomed a total of 14,485 Afghan refugees, with more arriving every week.

From coast to coast to coast, Resettlement Assistance Program service provider organizations (RAP SPOs) are working to make newcomers, including Afghans, feel welcomed in their new communities.

Ontario’s Thunder Bay Multicultural Association has welcomed close to 100 Afghan newcomers since August 2021. They offer information, orientation and referral services in the broader community that help newcomers with their integration. To help with the recent influx of arrivals in the area, the Association hired Mr. Eid Mohammad Sultan, an Afghan refugee and former interpreter for the Canadian Armed Forces. He is working as a language interpreter to help other refugees access vital community services in English. Mr. Sultan is a great asset to the Association and, together with his family, has settled well in Thunder Bay. The Association also assisted two Afghan parents in finding full-time, long-term jobs and helped enroll the family’s six children in school shortly after their arrival. With this support, the parents thrived and have since been promoted at work.

Other examples of RAP SPOs, whose work is essential to helping refugees adjust to life in Canada, include:

  • Since August 2021, Catholic Social Services (CSS) in Edmonton, Alberta, has welcomed over 500 Afghan refugees, in Edmonton and Red Deer, including 170 human rights defenders and their families. CSS helped resettle this group of human rights defenders by providing language training, orientation, accommodation and other resources. Since their resettlement, the human rights defenders have started connecting with local museums to explore how they can work together to preserve documentation on human rights abuses and war crimes in Afghanistan and tell their story through the arts.
  • The Association for New Canadians in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, helped welcome more than 275 Afghan refugees in the province since August 2021. They’ve worked in collaboration with local businesses, churches and community members to collect household items, toys, clothes and cash donations to help the newly arrived refugees. In November 2021, they teamed up with 1620 Electrical Workers Union, which had amassed more than $30,000, to support the private sponsorship of an Afghan family to resettle in the province.

RAP SPOs across the country are crucial to resettle all newcomers, and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada will continue to work closely with them to welcome Afghan nationals to Canada.

Photos of previous arrivals of Afghan refugees are available in Dropbox for use by media. You can also monitor Canada’s progress on welcoming Afghan refugees to Canada.

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