Since February 24, 2022, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians affected by the Russian war have sought safety in Canada and the United States. The fourth funder-only roundtable series will focus on how Canadian and U.S. governments, alongside private and community foundations, have welcomed and supported the arrival of Ukrainians, helped them access various newly-developed programs and services, and fostered their integration and contribution to Canadian and U.S. communities. Participants will learn about ways to set up similar initiatives as well as aid Ukrainians that are returning home.
- The Canadian government swiftly introduced special streams for temporary and permanent immigration as well as streams for those seeking safe haven. Other immediate forms of support included providing charter flights, lodging, and transitional financial support. These measures were subsequently coupled with the provision of private donations through CISSA-ACSEI, a private sector partner, to local assistance providers across Canada and the development of a job board specifically designed for newly arriving Ukrainians, among others.
- Speakers from community foundations reiterated that community foundations are uniquely prepared to support refugees because of their understanding of community needs, available resources, and advocacy opportunities. The role community foundations can play ranges from mapping, initiating, coordinating, and integrating community stakeholders and resources to translating local learning into policy developments on the national level and others.
- Specific examples of gaps that community foundations can fill that the Oakville Community Foundation spotlighted included establishing funds for the support of refugees, including through refugee sponsorship, and providing interested stakeholders with information about giving locally as well as internationally. Other examples of unique community contributions included collaborative private sector initiatives to build the assistance provision infrastructure, especially in the absence of existing government fabric, which Global Cleveland successfully implemented.
- Jonathan Katz, Executive Director of the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group and Senior Fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF)
- Wendy Rinella, CEO, Oakville Community Foundation
- Joe Cimperman, President, Global Cleveland
- Corinne Prince, Director General Settlement and Integration Policy Branch, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
In partnership with: