Manulife and Community Foundations of Canada establish Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees

Cornerstone contribution to grow to $1 million

TORONTO, December 10, 2015 – Manulife today announced that it is partnering with Community Foundations of Canada (CFC) to establish the Welcome Fund for Syrian Refugees (Welcome Fund). Manulife has donated $500,000 to seed the Welcome Fund. Canada’s community foundation network will also match this contribution at the local level, for a total investment of $1 million to communities that will support refugees.

The donation is in response to Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, John McCallum’s recent challenge to Canadian companies to support Syrian refugee settlement efforts in Canada. The Welcome Fund will address the refugees’ immediate needs for transitional housing, job training and skills development as identified by the Government.

“The Government has embarked on a significant humanitarian effort to relocate 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada,” said Donald Arthur Guloien, President and Chief Executive Officer, Manulife. “We applaud this initiative and support it with a significant contribution of time and funds. It is impossible for us to imagine the hardships endured by these people, and as Canadians with an international perspective, we must extend our hand in welcome, as others did with our ancestors.” Manulife is working with CFC to support communities across Canada who will be welcoming new members in the coming months. Community foundations will direct contributions to local charitable organizations in each community where they will have the greatest impact. More than 85 per cent of Canadian communities have access to a community foundation.

“Like so many Canadians and local organizations, community foundations are seeking the best way to contribute and welcome Syrian refugees to Canada. We know how important this work is,” said Ian Bird, President, CFC. “By working closely with our partners at Manulife, as with others, we can align our resources with the know-how of Canada’s robust settlement network and work together to ensure our communities are places where we all belong.”

About Community Foundations of Canada

Community Foundations of Canada is the national network for Canada’s 191 community foundations which help Canadians invest in building strong and resilient places to live, work, and play. Community foundations contribute time, leadership and financial support to initiatives that benefit community most, directing grants and other investments towards everything from shelter, education, and care for those in need, to the arts, environment and recreation. Collectively community foundations manage more than $4.6 billion in assets and have put hundreds of millions back into communities over our 94 year history. To learn more visit

About Manulife

Manulife Financial Corporation is a leading international financial services group providing forward-thinking solutions to help people with their big financial decisions. We operate as John Hancock in the United States, and Manulife elsewhere. We provide financial advice, insurance and wealth and asset management solutions for individuals, groups and institutions. At the end of 2014, we had 28,000 employees, 58,000 agents, and thousands of distribution partners, serving 20 million customers. At the end of September 2015, we had $888 billion (US$663 billion) in assets under management and administration, and in the previous 12 months we made more than $23 billion in benefits, interest and other payments to our customers. Our principal operations are in Asia, Canada and the United States where we have served customers for more than 100 years. With our global headquarters in Toronto, Canada, we trade as ‘MFC’ on the Toronto, New York, and the Philippine stock exchanges and under ‘945’ in Hong Kong. Follow Manulife on Twitter @ManulifeNews or visit or


Rebecca Freiburger

Community Foundations of Canada
David Venn, Director of Communications
613-236-2664 x 302

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