Canada prides itself on being a welcoming and inclusive country and it benefits greatly from the rich cultural, professional, and educational experiences newcomers bring. But for anyone leaving their life behind and starting afresh in a new country there are significant challenges: new language, cultural differences, accessing services, or finding a sense of belonging and community. Some newcomers have fled traumatic experiences or unstable homelands, losing vital connections to family and communities. The support newcomers encounter as they make their new homes in Canada can ease this transition.
As of the 2016 Census, nearly 22% of Canada’s population was born outside Canada, and our country’s population has been growing quickly over the past few years, with more than 80% of the growth driven by newcomers. In 2018-2019, for instance, Canada admitted 313,000 newcomers, one of the highest levels in Canadian history. Charities across the country play a vital role in welcoming and helping to settle newcomers to Canada.
Charities play a vital role to building a welcoming, prosperous Canada
Many, especially newly arrived refugees, want to secure housing and employment, and often need help to navigate our legal, health and education systems, and to access childcare, family services and social services in their new communities. Charities can help guide newcomers through these obstacles in supportive and culturally appropriate ways.
Other charities have developed into full-service agencies offering information, referrals, and resources for newcomer settlement, accommodation, job searches, language classes, legal advice, citizenship, childcare, troubleshooting, and a wide range of services to start a new life in a new place.
Charities also build bridges between potential employers and newcomers, especially women and youth, providing information about the benefits of a trained, multicultural workforce, as well as skills development, language training, and mentorship programs.
You can help newcomers to Canada access the support and services they need
By investing in these services, we can continue to build a welcoming, prosperous Canada, which is why CanadaHelps has recently launched the Welcoming New Canadians Fund. In a single transaction, Canadians can support more than 120 charities helping newcomers access the support and services they need to find a sense of comfort and community in their new homes. Gifts made to this Fund are pooled together to achieve wide-reaching impact.