Liaison College and Syria

By 30/12/2015 No Comments

You may have noticed that Liaison College Oakville has been paying a lot of attention to Syrian refugees lately; setting up the Job-Ready Recipe initiative, attending the Governor General’s fundraising dinner, and engaging various members of the community to help support our efforts. You might be wondering why?

Quite simply, because it’s the right thing to do. Starting in 1975, with the fall of Saigon and end of the Vietnam war, Canada welcomed 5,000 Vietnamese refugees, and in the ensuing five years, Canada would become home to an additional 50,000 Vietnamese. These then-new Canadians would become an integral part of Canadian society. If you’ve ever enjoyed now-ubiquitous pho soup, you’ve experienced at least a token of the Vietnamese contribution to Canadian culture.

Earlier this year, on the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, CBC News profiled some of the Vietnamese refugees who now call Canada home; Boat People Share Survival Stories, Coming to Canada 40 Years Ago

With the war in Syria and jihadi terrorists dominating news headlines around the world, Canada is once again opening its doors to people who need our help. By the end of February, there will be 25,000 new Syrian-Canadians, who have fled the horrors of war, leaving their homes, their jobs and their old lives to start fresh on Canadian soil.

Getting these people here, however, is only the first step. In just a single year, these people starting from scratch will need to become self-sufficient. The Canadian Government and various charitable organizations will provide them with basic needs; food, shelter, clothing, and personal hygiene products, but the task of earning a living and providing for themselves will be self-directed. They need jobs. More importantly, they need the skills required to secure and maintain employment. This is where Liaison College can help.

As Canada’s premier culinary skills-training college, Liaison College is uniquely positioned to be able to assist these Syrian refugees in becoming job-ready. With the school’s exceptionally high post-graduate placement rate, and an industry starved for qualified people, offering a program to Syrian refugees just makes sense.

Liaison College Oakville has committed to providing Syrian refugee students with a $1500 bursary towards course fees, a chef’s tool kit, a uniform, and a training manual, along with a fast-track curriculum to get them job-ready as quickly as possible. What the school needs now is additional funding and support from other Canadian businesses that want to help out.

If you are interested in supporting our Syrian Initiative, please contact Chris Demko at 905.842.4336 or via email at

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