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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


Wendy Cukier

January 8, 2016

Dear supporters,

It has been a few months now since the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge began, and already so much has been accomplished. We are encouraged by such an outpouring of community support, not only within the Ryerson community, but also within Toronto’s network of universities. We are thankful for the volunteers and sponsor leads, as well as the donors who have already stepped forward to help. I am writing to update you on the incredible progress we have made.



In October, the University of Toronto, OCAD University and York University joined Ryerson’s challenge, helping us to boost the number of refugee families that we can sponsor. When our Challenge first began, we committed to sponsoring 10 families. However, now with the support of Toronto’s network of universities, our new goal is to sponsor up to 75 families, or approximately 300 individuals.

This is an incredible initiative for Toronto’s universities. By joining together, we are demonstrating our values as city builders and promoters of inclusion, and also sending a message to other Canadians and universities on how we can make a difference in the lives of Syrian refugees.

To find out more about the sponsorship teams of the universities, please visit:

Ryerson University


University of Toronto

York University



We can all be proud to know that already, we are more than half way to reaching our goal to sponsor 75 families with nearly 70 private sponsor teams signed up and either already supporting new Canadians, or getting ready to resettle Syrian refugee families. More than $1 million has been raised to support these efforts.

Already 8 families of Syrian refugees, 56 individuals, sponsored by the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge have arrived. One family is settling in Prince Edward County while the others are settling in the Greater Toronto Area. More are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.



In the coming weeks, we can expect that more Syrian refugees, sponsored by our teams, will arrive in Canada.  While so much has already been achieved, we know that we still have a long way to go in ensuring our sponsor groups can provide the adequate care and support to the refugee families coming to Canada.

We urge everyone to continue to support these efforts and make a donation to one of the sponsorship teams to help them achieve their goals of resettling a refugee family. Your support will go a long way in helping to ensure these families feel safe and comfortable in our community.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit

Thank you for your continued support in helping to make a meaningful difference in the lives of these vulnerable families.




Dr. Wendy Cukier

Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, Founder and Executive Lead