Supporting refugees

    in our community

  • Suzan, Aya, Jandal, Emad, Zaina

    Our Latest Update

    Hello community members:


    We want to update you about how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting our Project Welcome families.


    As with all of us, Emad & Suzan and their children have had to change their regular activities. They are physically isolating in their apartment in Guelph. We’re keeping regular contact with them by phone and Zoom. The children’s schooling has paused, but the newly provide emergency online instruction will help. Emad and Suzan’s English classes have stopped too. This is a setback. Still, we are hopeful that their strong motivation to learn will keep them progressing.


    Meanwhile, Nahed and her sons from our first sponsored family are doing well. Majd has been accepted into a college program in Ottawa! He’ll be studying computer systems technology with a focus on security. Nahed and Fares have just moved to Ottawa with Majd; her daughter lives there too. Unfortunately, they’ve hit a bit of a roadblock. Majd was due to start his program this month, but this has been delayed. This puts at risk some student assistance funding they’d been counting on.

    Project Welcome continues to support our two families as best as we can. Our biggest challenge is financial, and that pressure is amplified now that we can’t roll out the fundraising plan we had for this spring. This leaves us with a significant shortfall of dollars needed to help our families with their short- and longer-term goals.


    Your gift of $25, $50 or $100 will help these strong and resilient families get through this period and come out the other side stronger. Your gift is tax-deductible and we guarantee that 100% of your donation will go toward helping them with the immediate tools and supports they need.


    There are two easy ways to give:


    1. Click here to go our page at CanadaHelps. This way, you can give using your credit card. (Elora United Church is letting Project Welcome use a section on its Canada Helps page, so all donations go through the church and are tax-deductible.)


    2. Mail us a cheque, payable to “Elora United Church,” with “Project Welcome” in the memo line, to Elora United Church, 75 Geddes Street, Elora ON N0B 1S0

    Thank you for all the ways you’ve supported Project Welcome as we’ve partnered with these great families to make Canada their new home. We are an incredible community!



    Bonnie Norris
    Greg Smith-Young

    Project Welcome Coordinators


  • Our Second Family

    Our first sponsorship experience went 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

    by welcoming another family to Canada.


    Emad and Suzan come from Homs, a city that was about the size of Hamilton.

    Emad is a professional chef. Suzan is a homemaker.
    They have 3 children: Aya, Zaina, and Jandal.

    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 to Jordan.

    Jordan is a small country. It has welcomed more than 1.2 refugees from Syria! Still, their long-term security in Jordan was uncertain. For instance, they were not legally allowed to work.

    It was not safe for them to return to Syria.

    So they needed 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 welcomed them at the end of June 2019!

    Please join us in helping them make their new home.

    Click here to get involved by donating and/or volunteering.
  • Our First Family

    Since their arrival in November 2016, Nahed, Majd and Faris have grown to become independent, resourceful and well adjusted members of our Canadian community.


    They have recently moved to Ottawa, where Majd has been accepted into a college program! He’ll be studying computer systems technology with a focus on security. Nahed's daughter (and the boys' sister) lives in Ottawa with her family too.


    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.

    Faris is doing very well academically in grade 11.


    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.

  • Our goal

    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.

  • 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.


    Our principles


    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.


    Postponed because of the Covid-19 crisis.

    Check back for more info

  • Donate

    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.

  • Get involved

    Please scroll down to see all the ways you can help!


  • Contact Us

    Please feel free to contact us!