Livelihood Project Empowers Young Newcomers in Integration

Bilal behind the counter at the Livelihood Café ©Livelihood Project/2019

Toronto, June, 2019- “My family and I left Syria after my hometown Homs was besieged by regime forces and my home was destroyed in war. We moved to a safer place, but the situation got worse everywhere” said Bilal “We came to Lebanon in 2011.”

Bilal Alrasoul is an 18 year old high school student, who has been working with Livelihood project for over two years. He explains his journey to Canada and that access to healthcare, safety, and basic needs were his family’s biggest challenges in Lebanon. “My dad had an eye surgery and I had to work in construction to support myself and my family” said Bilal “I worked very hard, sometimes carrying around 50kg cement for which I was paid only $20 per day.”

Parin the Manager at Livelihood Café helps Bilal with his school work after work at the Cafe. ©Livelihood Project/2019

Bilal lived with his parents, his three brothers and two sisters. He continued supporting his family in Lebanon until he arrived in Canada in 2016.

“After almost one year of my arrival to Canada I started looking for a job. Through my network I was referred to Livelihood Project” said Bilal “However, I was nervous because I did not speak English very well but I was hired here because I was a newcomer”.

Almost all the employees at the Livelihood Project are refugees and newcomers. 50% of its sale goes to employment of the newcomers.

Livelihood Project believes in the human spirit to adapt to change alongside the evolving technological environment. It continuously helps the refugees and newcomers to adapt to their community and work environment through skill development trainings and learn about the future of work in Canada.

“Working at the Livelihood Café helped me to build confident in working and communicating with people in a professional way.” Said Bilal “I learnt how an organization works and how the technology has changed the way we work”

Despite the hardships he’s already faced, the obstacles he’s conquered, Bilal holds an ambitious look on the future, seeing himself as a civil engineer. Like many other refugees, Bilal is resilient, strong-willed, and reaching for his dreams. And Livelihood Project is honoured to support him and others in their pursuits.

Re-Posted from MEDIUM

Written by Livelihood Project


Published June, 2019

#refugees #Toronto #culture