Help Bring Syrian Refugees to Canada
As we hear about refugees crowding into unsafe boats, or bolting from armed police in Central Europe, it is impossible for most of us to imagine what these people are feeling or what they need to do, hour to hour, to stay alive. We imagine ourselves in their shoes and think about what it would mean to be displaced and utterly at the mercy of forces beyond our control. For many of us, the sense of tragedy and helplessness was brought home in the small lifeless body of Aylan Kurdi. This death, which represents thousands, is even more painful because it could have been prevented by a faster, more attentive response to refugee and sponsorship claims. Now that the Canadian government has committed to bringing in35,000 refugees over the coming months, our sponsorship will lessen the time that people endure dangerous and uncertain conditions in refugee camps.
We are one of many groups of concerned Canadians working together to sponsor a Syrian family’s resettlement in the GTA. As their sponsors, we will ensure the family has suitable housing and other necessities, help them enroll in school, learn English, and connect to the community. We are committed to supporting the family financially and emotionally for one year, during which time they will gain the tools and resources to thrive in their new country.
If you can help – with whatever amount – we would be so grateful. This is our chance to share our good fortune in a direct, meaningful way, and to help a family find the opportunities for the joy, learning, and self-determination that make our lives beautiful.
Use of Funds
Our group has raised the minimum $27,000 required to sponsor a family of four. We are asking for your help to raise an additional $15,000 because we recognize that the government’s estimate of what it costs to live in Toronto is far too low — rent will not be less than $1300 a month, and food will easily be $700. That is $24,000 in just food and rent, and does not take into account clothing, furniture, the transit or telephones necessary to find a job, or paramedical needs like vision and dental care, for which sponsors are responsible during the family’s first year in Canada.
The money you donate will help support the family who will be joining us this winter. Should your generosity help us to exceed our fundraising goal, we will contribute to the sponsorship of a second family.
The People Behind this Campaign
We are a group of 10 friends who have been brought together in the desire to share the fortunate lives that we have with those who have experienced hardship. We want to help ensure that no one else has to put their lives in the hands of untrustworthy people or the unpredictability of the sea, or “live” perpetually in the unsafe confines of refugee camps, to get to a safer and better place.
Some of us have friends in Syria who have suffered violence and displacement in this war. Many of us have family and friends who were welcomed to Canada as newcomers and refugees, whose ability to start new lives here have made our good lives possible. Like fleeing home in Iran as a small child during the Iran-Iraq war, moving from country to country before finding a way into the safety of Canada. Finding a path out of Hungary and Poland after 75% of your family had been killed in the ravages of the Holocaust, to come to Canada and the US to establish what became free, healthy, fulfilled, educated lives for yourself and your descendants.
No one wants to leave the place they were born, the culture and life and family network that’s been established, but we recognize that many Syrian families have no choice. The kindness of strangers caring for one another can make that journey less difficult. We are here to extend that kindness to others.
Photo credit: World Bank, cc.