Orientation for Community Volunteers to Work with Refugee Families

On January 29th, Burnaby’s Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) conducted an orientation for volunteers-mentors who expressed their interest to work with Syrian refugee families and registered through the Program’s portal. 17 volunteers residents of Burnaby and Coquitlam attended this event.

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After a short round of introduction and sharing their backgrounds, the participants were greeted by the SWIS Program Coordinator and Edmonds Community School Coordinator. ELL/Learning Support Teacher from the Edmonds Community School Angela Kelly shared her past experiences as a community volunteer working with a refugee family.

A power point presentation made at the Orientation was dedicated to Syria’s culture, history and the population. It gave the participants an opportunity to learn more about the civil war in the region and the dramatic exodus of people from the war-torn countries.

Volunteers-mentors received information on the current numbers of Syrian refugee families in the district. Mentorship guidelines were shared and discussed. Each participant received a binder with a Thank You letter, reference materials and directories helpful in their work and interactions with refugee families.
Questions and Answers period that followed let the participants share their own life experiences and volunteering they did in the community. Many have already established ties with Syrian refugee families settling in Burnaby and those newcomers who just arrived in Vancouver’s Welcome House.
Plans and ways to support newcomer students and families were front and center of the discussions.

Settlement Workers in School are very thankful to all volunteers who came forward to help Syrian refugee families and all those in need who are settling in Burnaby’s schools and communities. Together we welcome all families to their new home!

Teen Refugees: After School Program Deals with Trauma

Kung fu, rope climbing — not what you’d expect to hear in a description of a counselling program. But settlement workers in Burnaby say these activities are helping refugee teenagers deal with trauma.
See more at: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/teen-refugees-after-school-program-deals-with-trauma-1.3444489

Refugee families in Burnaby adjust to new life with help of Canadian mentors

A new program in Burnaby, B.C. is helping Syrian refugees by pairing them with a Canadian mentor that can help them understand life and culture in Canada. The program, offered by the Burnaby School District, has matched seven Arabic-speaking volunteers with 27 recently arrived Syrian refugee families.
See more at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/refugee-families-in-burnaby-adjust-to-new-life-with-help-of-canadian-mentors-1.3503174