Starting The Journey

Imagine uprooting your family and moving across the world. You do not speak the language. You are not familiar with local customs. You know that your family is safe but you do not know how to take even the first small steps on the journey to building your new life.

In November 2015, Canada committed to resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees with a mix of private and public sponsorship. This sudden influx of newcomers placed a strain on existing resources across the country. Canadians responded.

In Ottawa, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) created a new position, Newcomer Navigator. Recognizing that these newcomers faced unique challenges, CHEO created a program to help newcomers navigate the pediatric health-care system.

This toolkit will take what CHEO learned about assisting newcomers and make it available to organizations across Canada, improving our national project. With CHEO as a corporate citizen, Canada is an even more welcoming place.
Carl Nicholson
Executive Director, Catholic Centre for Immigrants
Read full letter of support

Based on the CHEO experience, this toolkit — — will help Canadian organizations start their own newcomer navigator programs. To help cities, provinces, police services, boards of education, hospitals, licensing agencies and other organizations consider, first, whether a newcomer navigation program will benefit newcomers in their institutions. And second, help these Canadian institutions create, maintain and assess a newcomer navigator program.

You will find information and resources to assist you.

And you will find remarkable stories of courage, love and perseverance from some newcomers to Canada to inspire you.

What is a navigator program?  Learn More