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Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge
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This project is in collaboration with

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2016 Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge Year in Review:  - In collaboration with OCAD University, University of Toronto and York University

2016 Year In Review


What is the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge (RULSC)?

The RULSC program encourages private sponsorship and fundraising for Syrian refugees across Canada. It also provides experiential learning and applied research opportunities for students.

RULSC provides the following program supports:

  • On-board teams with information about how to privately sponsor a refugee including how to form your team, the responsibilities of settlement, and how to draft a settlement plan.

  • An online fundraising platform

  • Matching sponsorship teams to a refugee case and offering staff support to facilitate the paperwork and settlement process

  • Information on initiatives, programs and resources to support the team’s resettlement efforts

  • Creating opportunities for sponsors to learn about the different areas of settlement, exchange information and meet one another

  • Assigning Ryerson student volunteers to each team to assist with the settlement process

  • Support from Ryerson student volunteer committees, who are specialized in different areas of settlement and who have created resources that are useful for the settlement process.


What funds are needed to sponsor a Syrian family?

Each sponsorship team must raise at least the minimum amount required by the Government of Canada to privately sponsor a refugee. For example, a family of 4 requires $27,000. All donations fundraised through the RULSC website are met with a charitable tax receipt.


Where do the funds go?

All donations go towards the resettlement of Syrian refugees.


How are Ryerson students supporting the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge?

Each team will include three part-time Ryerson students who will help the sponsorship group in the resettlement plan. We already have more than 100 students actively engaged in supporting RULSC teams.

In addition, we also have the support of more than 400 Ryerson students who have signed up to become resettlement volunteers!  

These resettlement volunteers are not joining specific teams. Instead, they are divided into specialized cross-disciplinary support groups.

Current student volunteer committees include:

  • Translation & Interpretation – Arabic-speaking students: providing telephone, in-person, and written translation.

  • Financial Literacy – Commerce students: assisting newcomers to open a bank account, etc.

  • Civic Engagement – Politics students: providing an overview of how our government works, the nature of elections, etc.

  • Peer mentoring – Students will provide guidance to newcomer youth throughout their first year in Canada through leadership, mentorship, and community activities

  • ESL – Students will host conversation circles on-location to support language skills development.

  • Tutoring – Students will provide Syrian newcomer students with tutoring support across a variety of subjects.

  • Employment – Assistance with matching job seekers to employers, skill building for resume writing, mock interviews, etc.


Who is being sponsored?

The RULSC is identifying Syrian refugees to sponsor from several different sources – government lists, individuals who have been referred by family members, and individuals identified by Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH).


What are the general sponsorship timelines?

RULSC does not determine arrival times. The Canadian government notifies sponsors of the arrival times, which can vary from three months to more than one year.


How do you contact RULSC to join or support?

If you are interested in volunteering, joining a team, or have any general questions about our program, please email