Every family
deserves a safe home.

Join us in working on providing housing, financial assistance, and the necessary resources to welcome and support a new family to Portage la Prairie.

Who are We?

Financial donations are still needed

Donations can be made online through the link below
or in person at the Newcomers’ Welcome Centre at 110 Saskatchewan Avenue West.

Please be sure to select "Refugee Project" from the drop-down menu.

Donate Online

Who we are & our goals

October 31, 2016

On November 2, the Portage & Area Refugee Coalition will welcome a family of five from Syria onto Canadian soil and begin the process of helping them settle in to their new home in Portage la Prairie. The family will arrive at Winnipeg International Airport at 10:32 pm where Coalition members will be waiting to greet them.

“It’s been a very long process,” said John Doloff, Coalition spokesperson. “None of us anticipated it would take this much time, and the delays were discouraging, but we never gave up hope that we would soon be able to offer a refugee family a safe home. Wednesday is the day!”

The Coalition learned last January that it had been matched with two families from Syria, and it is still awaiting word on when the second family will arrive. It spent much of the past year fundraising, collecting donations of clothing and household items, arranging housing, and making other preparations to ensure it would be ready when the newcomers arrive.

Doloff acknowledges getting to this stage would not have been possible without the generosity of the community. “I can’t stress enough how thankful we are for the many people who have made contributions,” he said. “Portage la Prairie is full of very caring people and we are confident our new family will soon feel at home here.”

At the same time, Doloff cautioned it will take time for the family to settle in. “We ask for the community’s patience in the coming days and weeks as our family familiarizes themselves with life in Canada. We know there will be an adjustment period and we encourage folks to respect their privacy until they are feeling more settled.”

Tips to Welcome Newcomers - PDF

Financial donations are still needed and can be made online through the link below or in person at the Newcomers’ Welcome Centre at 110 Saskatchewan Avenue West.

Online Donation

Your donation can go a long way to providing a safe residence for a refugee family. Online donations will go through Trinity United Church in Portage. Please be sure to select "Refugee Project" from the drop-down menu.



The Portage and District Refugee Coalition is comprised of caring members of our communities, including members of Trinity United Church, St. Mary's Anglican Church, Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church, MacGregor United, Baker Hutterian Brethren and various community groups.
Absolutely! Meetings are open to the public; everyone is welcome. Join us.
We are looking at bringing two families to Portage la Prairie. We are new at this and want to start small and make sure we do this well. (very likely the families will be related or connected.)
We do not have an offical date yet - as of 11/10/2015 we are thinking within six months.
The families come from Syria, currently in Lebanon. The families have been carefully screened by the Canadian government; this includes security and health screening.

I want to help! Where can I donate?

Donations are now being accepted at the Newcomer’s Welcome Centre
(Portage Learning & Literacy Centre)
110 Saskatchewan Ave. West Portage la Prairie

Newcomer’s Welcome Centre

The Portage la Prairie Mall dropoff location is closed for now.
Thank you for all the donations.

Spread the Word
Tell your friends
We have found affordable housing!
Where can we donate?
Health Care / School / etc
City of Portage la Prairie
Mayor Irvine Ferris
Job or Employment Opportunity
Help provide some stability.
50+ Volunteers
$45,000 Funds Raised
Portage la Prairie - City of Possibilities

Links that might be of interest
and help provide more information regarding refugees

Government of Canada

Do you have questions about how to sponsor a refugee? For general information about sponsoring a refugee,

Canadian Council for Refugees

Seven Keys to Protecting and Welcoming Refugees and Newcomers: A vision for Canada

The refugee crisis:

9 questions you were too embarrassed to ask. A straightforward explanation of the very basics of the refugee crisis.

Why Canada should take in 20 times more refugees

In Canada, ‘thinking big’ often means thinking a little less small. Scott Gilmore on why the image of a drowned Syrian boy must shock us into action

Refugee Sponsorship Training Program

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) is a program designed to support the Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) of Canada, their Constituent Groups, Groups of Five and Community Sponsors on a national level.

How Canada resettles refugees — after a lengthy process

Processing asylum seekers is complex work that requires background checks and establishing identity


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