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About Us

Jumpstart Refugee Talent is an international, refugee-led charitable organization, headquartered in Toronto, Canada with a network of offices throughout Canada and around the world. Our work is dedicated to support the economic inclusion of refugees, refugee claimants, and forcibly displaced individuals, by connecting them with meaningful employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. We are also committed to assist displaced people in finding durable solutions by leveraging labour mobility pathways and ensuring their relocation and successful integration into new communities.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

DIVERSE TALENT

Jumpstart serves refugees from all backgrounds and works to advance economic mobility, address underemployment, and foster economic inclusion.

Our vision is a world where refugees have equal access to economic opportunities, recognized and valued for their unique perspectives, cultural diversity, and entrepreneurial spirit. By harnessing their potential, we strive to create a more inclusive and prosperous global community that benefits from the talents and contributions of refugees.

OUR STORY

Started in 2015 over a coffee meeting between three Syrian friends in downtown Toronto, has today become the catalyst for what is now Jumpstart, an innovative global emerging nonprofit that stands in solidarity with refugees, refugee claimants, and displaced persons from over 63 countries.

Driven by more than ambition, the firsthand experiences of founders Mustafa Alio, Bassel Ramli, and Omar Salaymeh — individuals who once stood on the other side of aid initiatives — have deeply informed Jumpstart’s mission. This personal connection to the refugee experience has fueled their dedication to understanding and serving the real needs of newly arrived people to Canada. From its grassroots beginnings, Jumpstart has organically grown into an organization that not only empathizes with the people it serves, but also offers free programs designed to support meaningful employment opportunities for refugees.

Special Projects

Founded as a grassroots, refugee-led organization, we have the flexibility to address the refugee population’s needs as they arise. We support the efforts of our partners, stakeholders, and refugee leadership through special initiatives:

Refugees Seeking Equal Access at the Table (R-SEAT) is an international initiative enhancing global refugee responses by co-designing mechanisms to amplify refugee leadership and increase their meaningful participation at state levels.

Empowered by Canada’s commitment to welcome 40,000 refugees and vulnerable Afghans, our Afghan Resettlement Initiative has partnered with local agencies, engaging with over 2,000 Afghan refugees since September 2021. We strive to inform refugees about meaningful employment, help them overcome barriers, and empower them in pursuing their careers in Canada.

As part of our efforts, we conduct employment assessment interviews to understand the occupational profiles of working-age Afghan refugees. The aggregated and analyzed data is now available in the Afghan Economic Profile Report [link to the report on the resources page] for interested stakeholders to better appreciate who Afghan refugees are and what they have to offer.

We support smaller, refugee-led, and related initiatives through sponsorships and contributions whenever possible. This has included:

Our Funding Partners

We are grateful for the generous support of the Canadian government, as well as other nonprofit and corporate funding partners. We would like to thank and recognize all our 2022 and 2023 funders.

Work With Us

As a refugee-led organization, the mantra “nothing about us, without us” is at the forefront of our diversity and inclusion objectives.

Our work, from design to implementation, draws on the lived-experience of our staff. Jumpstart especially encourages applications from candidates with lived refugee experience, enabling us to be more reflective of our clients and the communities we serve. 

Meet the Team

Our team is made up of a network of board members, staff, and dedicated volunteers who share a common goal: empowering refugees to continue their careers and rebuild their lives in Canada.

Careers

Join our diverse and multinational team. Together, we are working to create a world where refugees have equal access to economic opportunities and are recognized for their talent, unique perspectives, cultural diversity, and entrepreneurial spirit.