New Home to 4 Syrians in Canada - Parrainage

For: Mustafa, Lama, Ola, Iman
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Organizer: UBC Refugee Relief
New Home to 4 Syrians in Canada - Parrainage (Mustafa, Lama, Ola, Iman)
$22,160
of $40,000 goal.
Raised by 119 donors
55% Complete

The Story

-- Version française plus bas --

If you have been searching for a tangible way to make a positive impact and address the Syrian refugee crisis, please consider donating to support giving 4 bright, young Syrians a new home in Canada. Mustafa, Lama, Ola, and Iman are promising, intelligent and compassionate people who have been forced to relocate due to the conflict in their hometown of Aleppo. These young people have faced incredible adversity yet maintain their willingness to create a better world. All of the proceeds raised by this campaign will go to supporting their settlement in Vancouver (rent, food, clothing, transportation and general living expenses during the first year of their arrival).

**Note: If you live in Canada and are interested in donating, we also accept e-transfers and checks.This has the added benefit of not having a 3% credit card processing fee that gets applied to donations on this site. Please contact us at [email protected] if you would like to donate in this way.

Our Story

The University of British Columbia (UBC) Refugee Relief group was connected to these 4 specific Syrians through a series of unlikely, but serendipitous events. One of our group members, Alyson, worked with Ola and Mustafa in Turkey, and after Alyson left to work in Micronesia, she still continued to look for refugee resettlement options for Ola and Mustafa and their families. Resettlement is very unlikely for many Syrians in Turkey, but Mustafa had his heart set on Canada. Alyson had a Canadian neighbor (a UBC alum) and asked if she knew of any options for Syrians. In true Canadian fashion, with the day, the neighbor had written an email to everybody she knew to see if there was anybody who could help. One of the people who received the email happened to be a member of the UBC Refugee relief group, and right at that time they had been looking to sponsor a new group of Syrians. The group thought Ola, Mustafa, Lama and Iman would be the perfect group to sponsor, as they are committed and hard-working young professionals that would make a great addition to Canada.


About Mustafa, Lama, Ola, and Iman

Mustafa and Lama are a newlywed couple from Aleppo. Mustafa is a Biochemistry graduate, and Lama is an artist and very talented at arts and handicrafts. They first met in primary school but eventually lost contact for many years. They reunited in 2011, which is when many of the protests that would turn into the Syrian conflict began, and realized very quickly that they were always meant to be together. They decided to get engaged, but soon the war started reaching Aleppo, and they knew they could no longer safely stay in there. They made the difficult decision to leave their homes and families, which is fortunate, because within a year, their homes were completely destroyed by shelling.


By 2013, Mustafa was living in Turkey, and very much looking forward to start working again, but unfortunately he was unable to work in his field of biochemistry. He knew quickly that if he couldn’t work in the field he loved and he had studied in, he wanted to help his fellow Syrians. He started working with People in Need (a European international non-governmental organization), in education programming, which allowed tens of thousands of students in Syria to continue to access education. Mustafa risked life and limb many times to go back and forth from Turkey to Syria to monitor the education programs and make sure the schools were safe and children were learning. Alyson started managing these programs and that is how they met.

After a long wait, Lama and Mustafa were finally able to have their wedding in 2014.


Lama has been working at a Syrian NGO to provide psychological support for traumatized refugee children fleeing Aleppo and Idlib, and has also worked as a translator between Arabic and English.


Ola also worked on the education programs at People in Need with Alyson and Mustafa. Ola, 26, was a teacher in Aleppo before the conflict started, and still has a special way with every child she meets. Asked to describe her, Alyson says: “She was the only other woman on our team and she made sure her voice, and the voices of other women, were always heard.” Ola has been in some very scary and tough situations, and has worked tirelessly, to make sure that Syrian children continue to have access to education. Ola is bold and caring, and everybody knows when she walks into a room.


When told about this opportunity to move to Canada, Ola immediately said she would rather her younger sister go before her. Ola’s younger sister Iman is 19 and an extremely bright student, and has desperately wanted to continue her education, but until now has not had the opportunity. Iman was a young student before the conflict, and has now spent many years outside her home city of Aleppo. Her main interests are music, poetry and art.  In Turkey, she has been working with Syrian children to help them assimilate to their new lives in Turkey, and recover from the trauma of war.


While Turkey has provided a temporary safe-haven for the four of them, there is not much of a future for them there. Often those living in Turkey are not able to work legally, nor is there enough UN funding for food. Currently Turkey is hosting over 2 million Syrians, and there is concern over future legal protections. Many are living in increasingly demoralizing and squalid conditions, which is why families have been risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean from Turkey. In 2015, according to UNHCR, half of the people crossing the Mediterranean were Syrians. In 2016, according to the UNHCR, 5022 people perished trying to cross the Mediterranean.

About Us

We are a diverse group of young people, from Canada and abroad. Many of us are students at the University of British Columbia, and members of UBC Refugee Relief (https://ubcrefugeerelief.wordpress.com). Many of us live in Vancouver, and others in Montreal. We are connected through our common interest of trying to do something concrete to help refugees, and feel that offering a new home in Canada through private sponsorship gives a long-term answer to our fellow humans fleeing the war.

About Private Sponsorship

In Canada, in addition to Government Assisted refugees, private individuals or organizations can also help sponsor refugees. Canada is the only country in the world to offer this opportunity. What it means, is that instead of the government paying for and assisting refugees through the resettlement process, private groups of people do it. The group must prove it can financially support the new refugees for their first year in Canada. This includes rent, transport, food, clothing and any other ordinary living expenses. The group also helps the newcomers settle in and learn about life in Canada. 

For more information about private sponsorship, visit:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/publications/ref-sponsor/ (in Canada)

http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/immigrer-installer/refugies-autres/parrainage-collectif/index.html (in Quebec)

Thank you!!


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Si vous cherchez une façon d’agir et d’avoir un impact concret sur la crise qui touche des millions de Syriens, nous vous proposons de venir en aide à quatre jeunes Syriens.

Mustafa, Lama, Ola and Imam ont été forcé de quitter Alep. 

Ils ont vu leur vie bouleversées par la guerre et souhaite pourvoir la reconstruire au Canada.

Tous les dons récoltés lors de cette campagne servira à leur parrainage et permettra entre autre d’assurer leur établissement à Vancouver et Montréal. Cela paiera notamment le loyer, la nourriture, les vêtements, le transport et les dépenses essentielles de la vie durant la première année de leur arrivée au Canada. (voir plus bas les détails sur le parrainage de réfugiés) 

**Si vous vous vivez au Canada, nous acceptons également les transferts interac ou les chèques. Cela à l’avantage d’éviter les 3% de frais liés au transfert par carte de credit. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter à [email protected] si vous désirez faire un don par l’un de ces moyens.






À propos de Mustafa, Lama, Ola et Iman : 

Mustafa et Lama sont un jeune couple marié. Mustafa (à gauche sur la photo) est un biochimiste diplômé et Lama est une artiste.

Je m’appelle Mustafa, et ma femme s’appelle Lama. Nous avons tous les deux vingt neuf ans et nous venons d’Alep. Nous nous sommes connus à l’école primaire. Nous sommes restés ensembles jusqu’au lycée mais j’ai déménagé et nous avons perdu contact pendant six années. Nous nous sommes retrouvé début 2011 et nous avons décidés de nous mariés, mais malheureusement la guerre a commencée et a touchée Alep. Après quelques mois, les affrontements se sont rapprochés de ma maison et nous avons dû quitter notre ville natale. Pendant ce temps Lama et moi étions fiancés. 

Après un an, nos maison a été détruite par les combats et les bombardements. À la fin 2013, je suis allé en Turquie pour y trouver du travail. Malgré mon diplôme en biochimie, la Turquie ne m’a pas autorisée de travailler dans un laboratoire médicale, alors j’ai commencé à aider les réfugiés syriens dans une ONG. Au bout d’un an, Lama et moi nous sommes mariés et sommes restés en Turquie pour aider le plus que nous pouvions.

En Turquie, ils ont tous les deux œuvré à venir en aide à leurs compatriotes syriens. Lama a travaillé avec une ONG qui dispensait des aides psychologiques aux enfants réfugiés qui fuyaient Alep et Idlib. Parlant l’anglais, elle a aussi été interprète. Mustafa a travaillé pour People in Need, une ONG Tchèque qui a créer un programme qui a permis d’assuré à 10 000 étudiants répartis dans 30 écoles en Syrie, de suivre une scolarité malgré la guerre.

Ola et Mustafa ont travaillé ensemble pour le programme de People In Need

Ola (à droite sur la photo) a vingt six ans. Elle était enseignante à Alep, avant que le conflit ne commence. Alyson, une membre de notre groupe, qui a travaillé avec Ola, la décrit ainsi: “Ola était la seule autre femme de notre groupe et faisait en sorte que sa voix et celle des autres femmes étaient toujours entendues”. 

La soeur cadette d’Ola s’appelle Iman. Elle a dix neuf ans. Iman était au lycée avant la guerre. Ces principaux intérêts était la musique, la poésie et les beaux arts. En Turquie, elle a travaillé auprès des enfants syriens pour les aider à assimiler leur nouvelle vie de réfugiés et de surmontés les traumas de la guerre. 

(Ola et Iman sont sur la deuxième photo. Les troisième et quatrième photo montre Ola travaillant avec des élèves.) 

Même si ces quatre jeunes syriens ont trouvés refuge en Turquie, il n’y a pas beaucoup d’avenir pour eux dans ce pays. Il y est souvent difficile d’y travailler légalement et le programme alimentaire des Nations Unis est insuffisant. La Turquie abrite pour l’instant plus de deux millions de réfugiés et l'instabilité de la région est une source d'inquiétudes concernant l’avenir de leur statut. Les conditions de vie des réfugiés sont précaires et ils perdent peu à peu tout espoir. Certain risque leur vie en essayent de traverser la Méditerranée. Selon le HCR, parmi les personnes qui ont traversé la Méditerranée en 2015, une sur deux était syrienne. En 2016, toujours selon le HCR, 5022 personnes seraient morte en essayant de traverser la méditerranée.

À Propos de UBC Refugee Relief

Nous sommes un groupe de jeunes bénévoles du Canada et de l’étranger, la plupart d’entre nous sont étudiants à l’Université de Colombie Britannique de Vancouver et membre de l’UBC Refugee Relief. Nous sommes rassemblés autours de notre intérêt commun d’essayer d’agir concrètement pour venir en aide aux réfugiés. Nous pensons que l’accueillir au Canada, à travers le parrainage, donne une réponse à plus long terme aux problèmes que rencontres ces hommes et femmes qui fuient la guerre. 

À Propos de Parrainage Privé

Au Canada, en complément du Programme de réfugiés pris en charge par le gouvernement, des individus ou des organisations privées peuvent aussi aider au parrainage de réfugiés. Le Canada est le seul pays au monde à offrir cette possibilité. Cela signifie qu’au lieu que ce soit le gouvernement qui finance et prenne en charge l’accompagnement des réfugiés dans leur processus d’établissement, des groupes privés d’individus sont autorisés à le faire.

Le groupe doit prouvé qu’il peut supporter financièrement les nouveaux réfugiés lors de la première année au Canada. Cela inclus les loyers, le transport, la nourriture, les vêtements et tout autres besoin essentiel à la vie quotidienne. Le groupe est chargé aussi d’accueillir et d’accompagner les nouveaux arrivants dans leur démarche établissement, les aider dans leur nouvelle vie au Canada. 

Pour plus d’information vous pouvez consulter : 

http://www.cic.gc.ca/francais/refugies/parrainer/index.asp

http://www.immigration-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/informations/accueil-refugies-syriens/index.html




Merci !

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 20, 2017

Posted on February 20, 2017

Thank you to all those who have helped us raise over $8,000 since the start of February ! We still have a long way to go, but this has left us feeling very optimistic. Be sure to check out the new thank you video on our page from Ola, Iman, Mustafa and Lama. 

THANK YOU!!

Posted on January 30, 2017

Posted on January 30, 2017

Wow! Over the past 48 hours, people have donated around $2,000. We are all truly grateful and humbly surprised by the amount of generosity that has been shown. It's been a sad few days for us, for immigrants, for refugees and for all of us, but we hope and believe that these stories of people helping other people are louder and more resounding. 

Posted on December 20, 2016

Posted on December 20, 2016

We added a few new photos of Ola doing what she does best: working with kids :)

Thanks for your continued support!

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