ESR (Empowering Syrian Refugees)

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What Is The Empowering Syrian Refugees program?

This project is designed to provide orientation on available community resources and develop important life skills and knowledge about Calgary to Syrian refugee families through training and one-on-one counselling.  The project will equip clients with the tools needed to live a productive and fulfilling life in a new home and the ability to find ways to cope with challenges and barriers associated with relocating to a new culture. The project has two major components:

a.      Formal life skills training
b.      One-on-one counselling


Formal Life Skill Training

Based on our survey, the two biggest challenges that refugees are facing at the moment are: 1. navigating resources that are available in the city; and 2. Not being able to make informed decisions.  Hence, two life skills training sessions will be provided every month in the following areas:

1.      Navigating Resources
2.      Self-Assessment and Decision-Making

These sessions will provide adequate information to help clients make sound decisions based on their unique needs. Each presentation will be 3 hours (including Arabic translation) and attended by at least 12 refugee families. In order to increase participation, childcare will also be provided on-site during the training. Clients are requested to register for the training in advance; but drop-in clients will also be accepted if seats are available.


One-on-One Counselling

ESR provides ongoing one-on-one counselling to refugee families. Clients can either book an appointment or drop in at CIES’ northeast Welcome Centre location (3820-32nd Street NE) or southeast Forest Lawn location (1723-40 street SE) to schedule an appointment for personal counselling.

Clients can request at least a one-hour consultation on resource information and support services. These consultations can focus on navigating resources, decision-making and goal-setting,  problem-solving, lease/household management, career opportunities etc. Clients are then referred to various service providers related to their specific needs for additional assistance, where they can begin preparing a career plan, receive help in making sound decisions, and begin focusing on the feelings, experiences or behaviour that can lead to positive changes in their lives.



Funded By


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Am I Eligible?

Eligible clients must be:

  • A refugee of Syrian nationality living in Calgary
  • 18 years of age or older

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When Is ESR Available?

  • Formal Life Skills Training is normally held on the last Monday and Wednesday of each month
  • One-on-one counselling is available, by appointment, between Monday-Thursday, 9:00 am-7:00 pm.

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Where Is This Service?

This program is offered at two locations:

  • Calgary Immigrant Educational Society: 1723 – 40th Street Southeast, Calgary, AB T2A 7Y3. For more information, call 403-235-3666.
  • The Welcome Centre for New Immigrants: 3820 – 32nd Street Northeast. Calgary, AB T1Y 7L9. For more information, call 403-291-0002.

For directions or more information, click here.

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