Refugee 613 initiative was born from the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015. Through their work, they resettled over 2,100 Syrian refugees in the Ottawa region (1). Their reach and networks have now spread throughout Ontario and nationally.
Today, they are playing a much bigger role as a connector. Through research and partnerships, they connect refugees to newcomer settlement agencies, private sponsors, and one another (2,3). They are the bridge between newcomers and information.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Refugee 613 launched their Multilingual Info Bank to help reduce barriers to accessing accurate information about COVID-19 (4). The up-to-date resources are offered in multiple languages and formats and address topics such as COVID-19 recovery, research, seniors, mental health, and places of worship (5).
They are currently working on a project around COVID-19, which aims to better understand COVID-19 mis- and disinformation that spreads within the newcomer and racialized communities. With this project, they will develop and test strategies to counter vaccine mis- and disinformation and improve vaccine confidence among newcomers across the country (6).
ScienceUpFirst is excited by this ongoing COVID-19 vaccine mis- and disinformation project. We’re a part of their vaccine misinformation advisory committee where we support their knowledge translation and research projects. We look forward to growing our relationship with this fantastic hub through community events to help their knowledge dissemination and upcoming content translation projects.
Check out their amazing work on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using their handle @refugee613 and on their website at refugee613.ca