Let's Keep them from Falling through the Cracks
UPDATE: We launched this campaign in May 2017 with a goal of $9,000 - and we raised $8,865 by March 2018 - AMAZING! All signs are now pointing to the family arriving in Canada by December 1, 2018. To get there, we need an additional $6,000 in support. Nine months and the family arrives. Can we keep them going until then? Please help!
Nour, Khaled and their young son, Jad, are living on borrowed time. They’re in Lebanon, where as Syrian refugees, they’re not permitted to work. Both professionals, they had good jobs that were taken away – violently, in Khaled’s case.
Through a lot of hard work, a group of volunteers has arranged to bring Nour and Khaled and their beautiful son Jad to a better life in Toronto. They should arrive by December 1 2018. We just need to keep them alive and in good health until that time.
Many caring Canadians came together successfully to raise the funds to sponsor them and support them once they are here in Canada. This fundraiser is to bridge the gap while they wait.
Back in 2008, when Nour and Khaled met in Homs, Syria, the future seemed bright. She was a student and he worked at the local coffee shop. Nour’s dream of finishing her degree came to an end when her university was torched in the fighting that swept across Homs in 2012. She spent 28 hours in the washroom with her family as the bombs rained down on the city. As she says now, “I was just thinking that I want to die first. I don’t want to see my family die.”
With the Syrian civil war raging around them, Nour and Khaled fled to Tripoli, Libya, which at the time seemed like a safer option. When a second civil war started in Libya, the family found itself in danger once again. Khaled lost his accounting job when his boss was kidnapped by members of an armed militia.
A new start
In August 2016, the family fled to the relative safety of Lebanon, and applied to come to Canada as refugees. They quickly learned that Syrians are forbidden from working or living like normal citizens in Lebanon. Khaled had a decent job until the police broke down the doors and attacked the employer for hiring Syrians.
Their families back home in Syria, meanwhile, have had their livelihoods destroyed by the Syrian war. The medical clinic that Nour's father once ran, for example, was demolished over a year ago in a bombing campaign.
That means until the family comes to Canada, they are dependent on the good will of others to stay alive. The cost of living for a family of three is $750 CAD each month. With your help, we can provide this family with the essentials of life, including:
Coming to Canada
- Clothing and other basic necessities
Nour, who has been so touched by the support of her volunteer friends, hopes to be a teacher when she comes to Canada, and a volunteer for other newcomers. "You have all inspired me to be a better person," she says. Khaled, who has the entrepreneurial spirit of many Syrians, plans to start his own coffee shop and restaurant. They are both eager for the day when their beloved son Jad can go to a Canadian school and play with other children, in an atmosphere of safety and security.
Those of us who have been fortunate enough to get to know Nour and Khaled include: Laura-Jean Bernhardson of Fresh Collective, the Toronto fashion label, Marcella Tomàs and Siyar Abu Hantash, of Canada Today Arab news. Community Matters Toronto (www.communitymatterstoronto.org) is the community sponsor for the family when they come to Canada. Stephen Watt, a volunteer with Community Matters Toronto, completed the family's refugee application and will be administering the funds for this fundraising drive.
The family also has also met many terrific volunteers and supporters through the first fundraising effort to cover the costs mandated by the Canadian government to settle them once they are in Canada: https://www.gofundme.com/HopefulSyriansWe hope that many of these same supporters and friends will join in this effort as well.
The family is just a year away from a new life. Until then, their survival and well-being is in our hands. With your help, we’ll help this hopeful young family get a brand new start in a country they are looking forward to call home.
Thanks for your support!