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It Takes A Village: Raid’s Story

I want to tell you a story about some wonderful people like you, who changed the life of a newcomer.

When I met 19-year-old Raid Hajhasan in 2016, he was living alone. He didn’t know anyone. Raid left Syria to escape the war. A war where 11 million people were displaced. He was all by himself. Without any family.

He spoke very little English and he was very quiet. Except for when he spoke about cars. Raid loved working on them. And he wanted to start his own business.

In Arabic we have an expression, ‘Individually we are one drop, and together we form the ocean.’ It is similar to something you say in Canada, ‘It takes a village.’

You are Raid’s village.

At the New Canadians Centre, we work with newcomer youth like Raid to build and enhance their skills. We form partnerships in our community to help develop their talents, improve their English, and make connections to increase their chances of finding and securing employment.

Because of a community of people like you who understand the important role new Canadians play in growing our community, Raid is the proud owner of Rapid Raid Car Detailing and contributing to a community that helped him.

Because of you, he is learning English while he works. He is continuing his studies and one day, he hopes to attend college.

Your compassion, kindness and continued support can help other newcomers like Raid realise their potential.

Your gift will help the New Canadians Centre support newcomer youth and their families with what they need most – skills and language training, community connections and social support – all year round.

It takes a village. Together, we can do so much more.

We hope that you will continue to give generously to the New Canadians Centre. We are counting on you to be the village that encourages, inspires and commits to newcomers like Raid as they build a new life in our community.

Yours in supporting newcomer youth like Raid and all newcomer families,

Abeer Al-Salihi
Settlement Worker in Schools
New Canadians Centre

P.S. When I lived in Syria and the United Arab Emirates I worked as a teacher. I came to Cobourg with my family to start a new life here. I didn’t know anyone else. I didn’t feel like I belonged. Not until I went to the New Canadians Centre in Northumberland. There I found connection, friendship and developed the confidence to pursue employment opportunities.

Because of you, I got the support I needed to move forward and achieve my goals. Now I am proud to help others realize their potential.



The New Canadians Centre Peterborough strives to empower immigrants and refugees to become full and equal members of Canadian society, and to provide community leadership to ensure cultural integration in a welcoming community. 

Formed in 1979, the New Canadians Centre has been inspiring and encouraging newcomers for 40 years. Learn about the #WeBelong campaign celebrating this milestone.