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How do I connect sponsored refugees with others so that they can make friends?

Sponsored refugees may find it difficult to connect and make friends in a new country. As sponsors, it is important that you provide as many opportunities as possible for the sponsored refugee to connect with new people.

Here are some places where sponsored refugees can meet people in Ontario:

  • English or French classes;
  • Church, Mosque or temple;
  • Volunteer organizations;
  • Sports clubs, or in a fitness class at a community centre;
  • Ethnic or cultural association events; and,
  • Community events.

Where do I find food in Ontario from a sponsored refugee’s home country?

Canada is a multi-cultural country. In larger cities, such as Toronto and Ottawa, you can find food from all over the world. There are many supermarkets and grocery stores that sell food from various countries. In other cities or smaller towns there might be a challenge to find grocery stores that carry world foods. However, there may be grocery stores in nearby cities or towns that carry food from various countries.

What advice should I give to a sponsored refugee on how to deal with discrimination?

Canadians are very respectful of the various cultures of people living in Canada. However, sponsored refugees may face discrimination in Canada. Discrimination can be based on ethnicity, religion, gender, appearance or nationality.

If the sponsored refugees suffer discrimination from the landlord or owner of their place of residence, they can call the Center for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA) on 416-944-0087.

It is advised that sponsors inform sponsored refugees of their right not to be discriminated against at work. The Ontario Human Rights Commission website contains important information about the right not to be discriminated against during the hiring process: www.ohrc.on.ca/english/guides/hiring.shtml

What guidance can I give to a sponsored refugee family on how to discipline their child to ensure that they do not break Federal or Provincial laws?

While discipline is common in many cultures worldwide, it is important to know that many Canadians object to parents using any form of physical discipline or punishment on their children. In severe cases, it can be grounds for legal action.

For information on how to discipline children without using physical punishment, please see: http://ceinfo.unh.edu/Family/Documents/s_discl.pdf

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