World Refugee Day 2024

A call for solidarity and action.

12 June 2024

World Refugee Day 2024

World Refugee Day, celebrated each year on June 20, is an essential moment to remember the importance of international solidarity with people forced to flee their homes in search of safety. This day, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000, aims to raise public awareness of the situation of millions of refugees around the world and to promote concrete actions for their support and integration.

The Global Context of Refugees

Today, the number of forcibly displaced people is reaching unprecedented heights. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 100 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflict, persecution or human rights violations. This global humanitarian crisis requires a collective and coordinated response, involving not only governments, but also non-governmental organizations, businesses and citizens.

The importance of community support: La Maisonnée in action

Among the many initiatives aimed at supporting refugees, the community organization helping immigrants, La Maisonnée, stands out for its commitment and concrete actions in favor of asylum seekers and refugees. Founded on values ​​of solidarity and respect, La Maisonnée plays a central role in offering a multitude of free services that facilitate the integration and installation of new arrivals. La Maisonnée tries to best respond to the various needs of asylum seekers, particularly in terms of housing, work permits, job searches, food assistance, support for pregnant women and psychosocial health services.

Some numbers

In 2023, Quebec received 65,575 of the 144,040 asylum applications filed in Canada, representing 45.5% of the total. However, only 47,310 applicants had Quebec as their last address, due to travel to other provinces. Despite the closure of Roxham Road in March 2023, nearly 19,000 requests were recorded at the airport (11,650) or in the inland offices of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (7,225). At the request of MIFI, La Maisonnée increased its presence in hotels managed by the federal government to present the services offered by Quebec in three languages.

Between April 1, 2023 and March 31, 2024, our housing assistance service for asylum seekers assisted 1,400 people. During this period, we organized 107 group sessions in 8 hotels managed by the Federal Government: Fairfield, Ramada, Comfort Inn, Crown Plaza, Quality/Anjou, Hampton Inn, Comfort Inn/Pointe-Claire, and Radisson.

La Maisonnée managed the project to integrate immigrants into the construction trades, aiming to respond to the glaring labor shortage needs in the construction industry. This collaborative project between La Maisonnée and La Table de Concertation des organizations serving refugees and immigrants (TCRI) with also the participation of the Commission de la Construction du Québec (CCQ) made it possible to reach more than 250 people. To achieve these results, the speakers supported the participants in a sustained manner. The project made it possible to obtain useful information for the construction sector which was presented during a meeting at the University of Quebec in Montreal on May 10, 2023.

Reception and integration services

The reception and integration of refugees are at the heart of La Maisonnée’s missions. From the moment they arrive, asylum seekers benefit from personalized support through warm and informative reception services. Every week, La Maisonnée organizes information sessions on its premises, as well as in reception hotels for asylum seekers, providing them with essential information on administrative procedures, rights and available services. These sessions are a fundamental first step in helping refugees navigate their new reality and feel supported in this often complex and intimidating process.

Employment assistance

Access to employment is a key step in the integration of refugees. La Maisonnée offers employment assistance services which include job search workshops, simulated interviews and mentoring programs. These initiatives allow refugees to familiarize themselves with the local labor market, promote their skills and find employment opportunities suited to their qualifications. By supporting the financial autonomy of refugees, La Maisonnée contributes to their social and economic integration, thus strengthening the community fabric.

Installation and integration support

One of the most decisive steps for refugees is finding stable and adequate housing. La Maisonnée offers valuable assistance in finding accommodation, supporting refugees with administrative procedures and helping them to understand rental contracts. In addition, the organization offers individual support to facilitate integration into the community, whether through enrolling children in school, accessing health services or participating in community activities.

Volunteer component

At La Maisonnée, volunteer engagement is a fundamental element of our holistic approach to supporting newcomers. It is an essential pillar of the social and professional integration of refugees and asylum seekers. By engaging in various activities such as language teaching, mentoring international students, participating in intercultural events or providing weekly food assistance, volunteers play a vital role in creating an environment welcoming and supportive.

Their presence and support allow newcomers to feel appreciated and supported in their adaptation journey, while promoting positive exchanges and intercultural ties within the community. By sharing convivial moments and offering their expertise, volunteers help build a robust support network and promote social inclusion, thus creating a significant impact on the lives of people seeking refuge. Also, our volunteer activities promote employment integration. To find out more about volunteering at La Maisonnée, visit this page here.

A call for solidarity

World Refugee Day is an opportunity to remember that each of us can play a role in welcoming and supporting refugees. By highlighting exemplary initiatives like those of TCRI and its partner organizations, we can encourage greater awareness and encourage collective action. Solidarity is not only a moral duty, but also a force capable of transforming lives and building stronger and more inclusive communities.

On June 20, 2024, let us commit to making a difference, reaching out to refugees and supporting organizations that work for their dignity and their future.

Link to the open letter to be signed before June 19, 2024.

For more information about La Maisonnée and its services, visit our page here.

This article is dedicated to all the people who work tirelessly to provide refuge and hope to refugees around the world.