Project Welcome Centre Wellington’s goal is supporting refugee families so they have a smooth immigration experience into Canada. We are giving them the physical, emotional, social, and financial supports they need to successfully integrate and thrive in their new community.
Our New Family
Our first sponsorship experience has gone very well (see below). So we want to build on that. We're partnering with Nahed, her family and others in the Guelph-area Syrian community to welcome another family to Canada.
Emad and Suzan Al Housarya come from Homs, a city that was about the size of Hamilton. Emad has worked as a chef and Suzan as a homemaker.
They have 3 children: Aya is 15, Zaina is 10 and Jandal is 3.
When the Syrian civil war began, Homs became a battleground. Five from their extended family were killed by government forces. They were forced to flee.
Since 2013 they have lived in Jordan. That small country has welcomed more than 1.2 refugees from Syria! Still, their long-term security in Jordan is uncertain. For instance, they are not legally allowed to work. It is not safe for them to return to Syria. So they need a home where they can create a future for their children.
Emad has family in our area, making it an ideal place for them to live.
Project Welcome is pleased to partner with them as they build a new life in our wonderful country.
We look forward to welcoming them at the end of June!
Please join us in helping them make their new home.
Who we are
We are a group of citizens from Centre Wellington (Ontario) who want to be part of the solution to the global refugee crisis. Our team includes committed citizens from all corners of our community with different faith identities. All are welcome to join us!
We are “nested” within Elora United Church, which has included Project Welcome Centre Wellington in its mission. The church provides us with logistical and administrative support.
We are also part of the Centre Wellington Refugee Network which enables us to partner with other refugee-sponsoring groups in our community.
We are a community-wide effort. Everyone can play a part! We welcome people from all religious backgrounds and those with no religious commitments.
Our sponsored family is our focus. We want them to have a successful immigration experience into Canada. While we are hopeful that we will be blessed through this experience, our priority is to bless them. So we will make our decisions with their best interests in mind.
We will respect our sponsored family. A big part of our success will be the family we are serving becoming more and more independent. We see our relationship as a partnership between us and them, with them assuming as much decision making autonomy as is possible.
Our sponsored family trusts us. We will ensure the people they are working with are properly trained and supported (recognizing that for many of us this will be a “learn as we go along” experience.) Volunteers will be appropriately assessed for the work they are doing.
We will honour our volunteers. We will be efficient with our time and in our decision making. We will empower our volunteers with clear direction and high expectations. Volunteers will be matched with roles that suit their experiences, skills and interests.
Our donors trust us. We will make sure proper accounting controls are in place for all money we receive, that all donations are receipted, and that money is used in careful ways that serve our goals.
We can’t do it alone. We will work collaboratively with other sponsoring groups in our area, and with the many people and organizations who have skills, knowledge and resources to help us.
Our First Family
Meet the Al Housaryas
Since their arrival in November 2016, Nahed, Majd and Faris have grown to become independent, resourceful and well adjusted to their new lives in Fergus and now Guelph.
They are becoming fluent in English and we continue to enjoy close friendships. Nahed is completing her level 6 ESL and hopes to secure a hairdressing license in Ontario. She practiced her trade in both Syria and Jordan.
Majd quickly completed level 7 ESL and is currently enrolled in Conestoga College completing his college English entry level. Currently working, he will soon move on to enrollment at Conestoga in computer science.
Faris is doing very well academically in grade 10 at John Ross School in Guelph.
We are so proud of their accomplishments. It is a joy to partner with this brave, generous and warm-hearted family. We've been blessed.
You can help by providing financial support. You can donate to our fundraising campaign on the Elora United Church Canada Helps page. All donations are tax deductible.
We also need household items. Please contact us for an up-to-date list.
Why are refugees coming from Syria?
Gain a better understanding of the origins and costs of this crisis.
Project Welcome is one way we can make a difference.
This short video gives a good overview of the roots of the conflict, the various groups who are involved, and the role of outside powers play in fueling it. Please note that the situation is constantly changing. The video is from March 2018 and much has changed since then. IS no longer holds any territory, and the US is considering removing it's forces that had been supporting the SDF.
As a result of this turmoil, more than 11 million Syrians have fled their homes. Of these, more than 4 million have sought relative safety in neighbouring countries (primarily Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq).