World Vision and Staples Advantage Canada team up to help Syrian children get "back to school" in Canada

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 17, 2015 /CNW/ - Today World Vision Canada teamed up with Staples Advantage Canada (the B2B division of Staples) to welcome new Syrian families arriving in Canada and help their children get off to a strong start in school. This afternoon, enthusiastic staff from both organizations filled 500 backpacks with school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, pencil crayons, erasers and rulers – all donated by Staples Advantage Canada. These "school kits" will be distributed to refugee children arriving in Canada over the coming months.

This initiative is a key component in World Vision's support for Syrian refugees arriving in Canada. Through a network of community partner organizations across Canada, World Vision is also assisting newcomers with basic necessities such as furniture, blankets, warm clothing, food vouchers, and housing assistance.

"As a Canadian and as a parent, I'm so thankful for this donation from Staples Advantage which will help make the future brighter for Syrian refugee children, many of whom have not seen a classroom for some time. Children everywhere cherish their school supplies, and these fantastic school kits will help ensure these new students get off to a strong start," said Michael Messenger, president, World Vision Canada.

"We are very pleased to partner with World Vision in this important initiative to help Syrian refugee children," said Michael Zahra, president, Staples Advantage Canada. "Our hope is that these backpacks and supplies bring smiles to these children as they start their first day of school in Canada."

World Vision has been a champion for Syrian refugee children since the humanitarian crisis began in 2011.  In Lebanon, Jordan and the Kurdish Region of Iraq, the agency is running education programs for school-age children so they are able to continue their education in the hope they can re-join the formal education system in the future.  According to the UN, between 2 million and 3 million Syrian children are not attending school. It is also estimated that the conflict has reversed 10 years of progress in education for Syrian children.


  • Watch and share this video of Canadian children welcoming Syrian children
  • Use the Twitter #CanadiansWelcome to share ideas on how to help newcomers. World Vision will share your friendly messages and videos with resettlement organizations.
  • Contact local sponsorship committees or refugee resettlement organizations to offer your time and friendship. There's a need for transportation, translators, language tutors, counsellors and other professionals to help families adapt to life in Canada.
  • Make a donation to help Syrian families settle in Canada through World Vision's Gift Catalogue 

World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization working to create lasting change in the lives of children, families, and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by our Christian values, World Vision is dedicated to working with the world's most vulnerable people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Visit our News Centre at

Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPLS), serves organizations of 20 or more employees up to Fortune 500, helping them make more happen with more products, greater cost savings and improved ordering  efficiencies. Staples Advantage provides its customers,  including global businesses, local and federal government, healthcare organizations and educational institutions, with a one source solution featuring comprehensive products and services like office supplies, technology, printing, promotional products, furniture and facility supplies, along with a customized level of account support and best-in-class customer service. More information is available at  

SOURCE World Vision Canada

Image with caption: "Teams from World Vision and Staples Advantage Canada fill backpacks with school supplies for Syrian refugee children arriving in Canada. (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "World Vision Canada (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Staples Advantage Canada (CNW Group/World Vision Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: For interviews contact: Britt Hamilton: 416-419-1321 or; Susan Bernardo 905-696-3733 or


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