Syria Refugee Crisis – How can you help?

Syrian flag

Helping  Syrian refugees requires a multi-pronged approach:  address the security issues that plague the country, eliminate the daily suffering of Syrian refugees wherever they are, assist those wanting to resettle in obtaining the means to do so.  But first and foremost, we want to prevent the unnecessary loss of life. There are various ways in which students, staff and alumni can help in this particular situation.

What measures is the University of Ottawa undertaking?

The University of Ottawa is responding to the Syrian refugee crisis with new scholarships and support for two innovative programs to help refugees.

The aim is to create a $400,000 fund for the initiative. The University of Ottawa will contribute $200,000 and will seek a matching amount from donors.

The funds will support three initiatives:

  • A Faculty of Law Refugee Sponsorship Support Program, which will help Canadians with the legal and procedural challenges involved in sponsoring refugees
  • A new, postsecondary certificate program to be offered in Lebanon to Syrian refugees
  • A minimum of five new scholarships for refugee students

For more information on the fund or to make a donation, visit the Support uOttawa refugee initiatives.

How to assist Ottawa-based initiatives?

If you intend to start up your own initiative on campus, or are thinking of doing so, please let us know. We would be happy to support your efforts, whether by helping you recruit volunteers or by raising awareness about your cause.

To learn more about how you can get involved with local and uOttawa-based organizations, please visit one of the following pages:

  • Introducing the Volunteer Management Handbook: Volunteer Canada has developed a resource to support service-providing organizations who engage volunteers to assist   newcomers, Volunteer Management Handbook: A Resource for Service-Providing Organizations Assisting Newcomers to Canada.
  • uOttawa Refugee Sponsorship Support Program: If you are a law student in Ottawa, email to join the student volunteer roster.
  • Catholic Centre for Immigrants: Options are offered on the webpage for getting to meet and be of support to refugees, from Syria and other countries. Option 1 (Community Connections) ,  option 4 (Matching Program) and option 6 (Youth Program).
  • Refugee613Refugee 613 is co-ordinating Ottawa’s response to the global refugee crisis.
  • Ottawa Centre Refugee Action (OCRA)OCRA is a grassroots group of volunteers who came together to help refugees settle in Ottawa. 
  • Donate clothing: Thinking of donating clothing to refugees? Read this article to make sure it gets into the right hands.|

How to assist organizations that have signed a sponsorship agreement?

Visit the Government of Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration webpage for more information on the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, as well as a list of sponsorship agreement holders. Using  this tool, select a province/territory. A list of all the sponsorships agreement holders in that province/territory will appear.  

This video created by Citizenship and Immigration Canada will help you complete the “Undertaking/Application to Sponsor” form, also known as IMM 5373, for the private sponsorship of refugees by Groups of Five.


View CIC instructional video >>

Where to go to stay informed?


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