The Syrian refugee crisis has captured the attention of the world and generated a great deal of humanitarian support. In Canada, over 25,000 refugees were settled between November 4, 2015, and February 29, 2016. That number has risen to 39,671, as of January 2, 2017. BC is the third highest recipient of Syrian refugees with over 300 Syrians having settled in the Thompson Okanagan and Kootenays. This large influx of refugees has brought with it many opportunities along with some challenges.

With the support of the Province of British Columbia, five Refugee Response Teams were created to address these challenges and to support the refugees through a coordinated approach. In the Thompson Okanagan and Kootenays the Refugee Response Team is led by Kelowna Community Resources and includes representatives from South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services, Vernon and District Immigrant Services, Shuswap Immigrant Services, Kamloops Immigrant Services and Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, along with valuable input from government, education, health, private sponsorship groups and businesses in the region.

Funding for this project made possible through the Refugee Readiness Fund and is part of the WelcomeBC umbrella of services, made possible through funding from the Province of British Columbia.


ESL Resources



This is My Syria …

This is My Syria is produced by the Refugee Response Team - Thompson Okanagan & Kootenays.

The stories and personal recollections were shared by Syrian families now living in Kelowna, Salmon Arm, Penticton and Osoyoos. Originally from Homs, Hama, Aleppo and Damascus, each family is working on settling in their new communities, learning Canadian culture and customs, and wanting to share about their culture and lives before the war drove them from their homes.

Their personal reminiscences are presented, along with background information on Syria. We encourage you to get to know your new Syrian neighbors and to learn about their Syria from them. You can also learn more through our Taaloo Zorouna (Come Visit Us) video series at www.kcr.ca. Additional information on Syria and Islam sourced as cited.


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