United Way Greater Toronto Announces $250,000 Grants to Support Black-Led Community Organizations and African Refugee Claimants

In a significant move towards supporting African refugee claimants and asylum seekers, United Way Greater Toronto has unveiled plans to provide $250,000 in grants. These funds will be dedicated to assisting Black-led and Black-serving community service organizations operating on the frontlines across the Greater Toronto Area. The aim is to offer essential aid to these organizations, which are working tirelessly to address the immediate needs of African refugee claimants and asylum seekers.

The primary objective of this initiative is to create sustainable solutions for the challenges faced by African refugee claimants and asylum seekers. United Way Greater Toronto recognizes the importance of public participation in achieving this goal and is calling for additional support to match the initial grant. With the community’s collective effort, the organization aims to raise an additional $250,000 in the coming weeks. This combined funding will be directed towards crucial areas such as housing and employment support, food, clothing, community connections, and more.

Daniele Zanotti, the President and CEO of United Way Greater Toronto, emphasized the significance of this endeavor, stating, “This is the beginning of a long journey. The commitment of $250,000 is a step forward. We are ready to provide immediate emergency relief and support to those in need.” Zanotti further highlighted the organization’s expertise and network, which will be leveraged to ensure the efficient distribution of funds within the community. He stressed the empowerment of Black-led initiatives, stating that these funds will contribute to making a tangible impact. Zanotti’s vision is to expand the efforts of providing essential services, including housing, employment support, food, clothing, and community connections for African refugee claimants and asylum seekers.

The initiative aligns with United Way Greater Toronto’s commitment to addressing anti-Black racism and promoting equity. The organization has a strong history of collaborating with local governments in the Peel, Toronto, and York regions to facilitate the settlement of newcomers, refugees, and asylum seekers. This initiative specifically aims to support community organizations that assist refugee claimants and asylum seekers, with a particular focus on those led by the Black community.

To foster additional support for the cause, United Way Greater Toronto urges individuals to contribute to the African Resettlement Emergency Fund. This fund aims to make a positive difference in the lives of refugee claimants and asylum seekers by providing them with vital support and assistance.

In the words of Mayor Olivia Chow of the City of Toronto, “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the United Way of Greater Toronto for providing this vital funding to support African refugee claimants and asylum seekers across our city.” She acknowledged the vital role of Black-led community and faith organizations in offering temporary shelter and support to new arrivals. Mayor Chow called for unity in ensuring that Toronto remains a welcoming place for all residents.

Debbie Douglas, the Executive Director of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), applauded United Way Greater Toronto’s commitment. She expressed hope that the $250,000 pledge would mark the beginning of a broader effort to address the crisis. Douglas emphasized that this investment in Black-led community service organizations would uphold the dignity of newcomers and demonstrate respect for the region’s diverse population.

This announcement by United Way Greater Toronto is a significant step towards creating a supportive and inclusive community for African refugee claimants and asylum seekers, aligning with their mission to address critical issues and promote social equity.

Source: United Way Greater Toronto

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