"Refugees are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, with the same hopes and ambitions as us-except that a twist of fate has bound their lives to a global refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale."
- Khaled Hosseini,
Novelist and Physician.
In This Issue
The AURA Newsletter
Fall 2018 

Welcome to AURA's 2018 Fall newsletter.  All of us at AURA thank you for your continued assistance of our mission to provide support and expertise to groups involved in refugee sponsorship and resettlement.  I t is because of people like you that we are able to run life changing programs that allow for the sponsorship and resettlement of refugees.

Around AURA
2019 Planning at AURA:
AURA is diligently planning for 2019 and working towards finding a balance between "Echo Effect" cases and completely new cases. If you are interested in submitting a sponsorship case in 2019 or would like more information, please contact the AURA office, if you have not already done so, before the end of November.

Ride for Refuge Fundraiser:
On September 29th, whether you choose to walk or ride or donate, know that you're doing something more than taking a walk or bike ride. By taking action YOU are directly helping people living unimaginably difficult lives. 

Through AURA refugees from around the world who have no option of ever returning to their homes get a chance to find refuge here in Canada. If you care deeply about the plight of refugees around the world, your support on the Ride will have a powerful impact and create significant change in the lives of hundreds of refugees.

AURA's youngest participate, Arthur, has already raised $300 and is getting ready for the 29th.

This is the second year that AURA supporters are taking part in the Ride for Refuge. Building on last year's amazing success everyone involved is looking forward to a great day as we raise awareness and much needed funds so we all can continue helping refugees. 

There is still time to get involved, be it as a team leader, a rider or walker, or a supporter.

If you have any questions, please contact the lead volunteers, Nadia Heyd or Stan Squires at rideforrefuge@auraforrefugees.org or leave a phone message at the AURA office at (416) 588-1612.

If you are ready to sign up, join a team, or support someone, you can follow this link:
Updated Sponsorship Toolbox: 

With the ever changing rules and realities, we have updated the AURA Sponsorship Toolbox, home to all of AURA's information sheets, guidelines and checklists. 

Topcis include:
  • AURA Policies
  • Roles and Responsibilities
  • Managing Expectations
  • Power Dynamics and Self Determination
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Finances: Pre-Arrival
  • Finances: Post-Arrival
  • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)
  • Housing
  • Airport Arrival
  • Permanent Residency and Permanent Resident (PR) Card
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Interim Federal Health (IFH)
  • Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP)
  • Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)
  • Post-Sponsorship Transition
  • Immigration Loans
  • Sponsorship Checklists 
Constituent Group Corner
Free Culinary Training Program for Newcomers:

Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Centre (CONC), is currently accepting clients to attend a free Culinary Training Program for Newcomers, which begins on October 22.

Details about the Culinary Training Program:
  • Program is 13-weeks in length and includes theoretical classroom training, hands-on training with industry professionals, as well as a 4-week work placement in a culinary setting.
  • Program is open to anyone age 18+ who identifies as a newcomer.
  • Training includes Food Handler Certificate, Smart Serve Certificate, and First Aid/CPR Certificate.
  • Participants will receive a free TTC Metropass, uniform, and daily lunch.
  • Classroom sessions are held at 850 Bloor Street West.
  • To schedule an interview, clients can call 647-804-6149 or email emlyn@conc.ca
Refugee News
Toronto couple's wedding vows included gift of new life to refugee family: 

When Natasha Carew and Sean Ritchie got married last summer, they decided it was better to give than to receive.
The Toronto couple chose to forgo wedding gifts, and instead encouraged their guests to help raise $26,000 to sponsor a refugee family and give them a new life in Canada.

After forming a core volunteer group of eight people, including the couple, Carew's mother, co-workers and friends, they were matched with a Sudanese family who had been stuck in limbo in Jordan for almost five years.

Mohammed Abd Elnour, his wife Assgad Ali, and their two daughters, Rafaa, 9, and Ruba, 5, arrived in Toronto from Amman on June 4, just three months after they were matched with Carew's group.

"What's most rewarding is seeing the (family's) two girls getting the opportunity we are afforded in Canada," said Carew, a litigation lawyer with Gowling WLG, who, along with her husband, asked guests at their August 2017  wedding to help with the humanitarian endeavour. "We could have been the ones sitting in a refugee camp looking to get an opportunity for a new life from somebody."

Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship talks up benefits of immigration on Australia visit: 
Ahmed Hussen Source: AAP.

Canada's immigration minister is something of a global anomaly at the moment.

Not only is Ahmed Hussen a former refugee, but someone who loudly and regularly advocates the benefits of immigration in what he calls a "world of closing doors".

Mr Hussen spoke at the University of New South Wales on Friday as part of his multi-city visit to Australia, where he championed a more progressive stance on immigration and refugee policy.

And for him, the topic is not just a portfolio, but a lived experience.

At 16, Mr Hussen escaped the civil war in Somalia and fled to Canada. He went on to study and practice law, before becoming the country's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship last year.

But he played down his own screenplay-like story to the Sydney audience.
"Apart from our Indigenous population, the rest of us in Canada are either descendants of immigrants or immigrants ourselves... The history of modern Canada is a history of immigration," he said.

Social Media Highlights
Annual Report:
If you have not already taken a look AURA's most recent Annual Report is available online,  click here for a PDF copy. If you would like physical copies, please contact the AURA. 
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