Refugees are suffering. Will you help me make a difference?

For: Rose Al Mayaleh - Starfish Foundation
Toronto, ON, Canada
Organizer: Rose Al Mayaleh
of $7,950 goal
92% Complete
Raised by 93 donors

The Story

I'm going to Lesvos, Greece. For vacation? Not exactly…

My name is Rose. I am a Syrian Canadian who was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to move to Canada before the Syrian crisis began. I consider myself to be blessed to have a shelter, security, access to food and education and things we take for granted that others across the globe could only dream of. The feeling of injustice and the lack of equality in our world is overwhelming. This needs to change. I want to impact this change.

A few months ago, I had the chance to meet a friend who shared their life changing experience with me. This selfless person has gone to Turkey and Germany as a volunteer to help with the Syrian refugee crisis. She opened my mind to the realization that I am capable of making this change happen. 

As eye witness stories from returned volunteers, cell phone snapshots of dead children on beaches and distraught parents, and photo evidence of the inconceivable conditions of internment camps on Lesvos flooded my newsfeed, I realized I had an obligation to do more. The world has failed in helping these people.

I joined a Facebook group for Lesvos volunteers in Greece who are on the frontlines, combatting the refugee crisis on the island. Given the minimal presence of major NGOs and government intervention, the burden of this humanitarian crisis is mostly shouldered by private volunteers and small organizations like the organization I will be volunteering with, STARFISH FOUNDATION who use their OWN savings to leave their families for months at a time to make a difference.

People who are no different from you. People no different from me.

I decided to go to Lesvos, Greece for 3 months (May-August) to be an active member of the Starfish Foundation, where thousands of Syrian refugees arrive everyday on flimsy boats from the Turkish shores with only 30% of them surviving. They are fleeing war-torn Syria, from religious persecution, starvation, bombings, violence and death, leaving with only the clothes on their backs and the family they can gather, often risking their lives just in the initial journey. The ones that have made it this far, are hungry, thirsty, and emotionally, physically, and spiritually worn.   

As a Syrian, I want to use my fluency in the Syrian dialect to bridge the language and cultural gap between these refugees and their landing point. I will be helping these precious ones after they arrive in Lesvos, getting them dry clothes, shoes, food and water, and providing emotional support to boost their morality to continue their journey of survival.

I am angry, sad, shocked, and disturbed with the amount of misfortune and tragedy these innocent lives encounter. Haven’t we heard and seen enough in the media? Let’s put an end to passivity and let’s be active and save one life at a time.

“It is a denial of justice not to stretch out a helping hand to the fallen. That is the common right of humanity.”

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale.

Let’s not underestimate the power of the impact one could make and and the power of collective action. I am determined to meet my goal, and I know I can with your help. As a full-time independent university student, I will be self-funding for this cause, and I would greatly appreciate your donations in order to help me with the following essential expenses for my 3-month trip:

  • Airfare $1,700.
  • An estimate of $690 for every month (accommodation).
  • $420 for every month (food)
  • $160 for passport.
  • $500 trauma training.
  • $500 for required work attire (heavy duty backpack to fit all my belongings for 3 months and sturdy waterproof boots).
  • $500 for destination change (as the situation over there is constantly changing, I will eventually need to relocate based on the needs of the organization).

Please join me in making a bigger impact in these refugees' lives. Help me make this happen by sharing my story and spreading the word.

If you want more information about how Starfish Foundation operates and are interested in learning more about volunteering on Lesvos Island, please do not hesitate to click the links below:

PLEASE don't forget to SHARE my story with your network and help me make this happen! 
I appreciate your time and generosity and I will keep you all posted during my journey. God bless.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on April 20, 2016

Posted on April 20, 2016

I would like to take a moment to thank one of the best boxing coaches at UFC, Tyrone Bradshaw? for donating tickets to the upcoming 2016 Boxing Trade Show towards my mission to Greece! I was able to raise $150 so far just from those tickets!! That was his way of helping me fund raise for this cause and I'm very grateful for it. It will go a long way! :)

A bit about the show on May 7th:

The list of vendors includes many boxing related equipment suppliers and Canadian boxing legend GEORGE CHUVALO signing copies of his book. Spots are still available for eight more booths. The trade show runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Magician Kyle Babineau and music will entertain ticketholders, who also have a chance to win $100 every hour.

Tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. Following the show you can go across the street to the Boston Pizza where, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., there will be boxing trivia with prizes including a trip to Las Vegas. You must have a Trade Show ticket and be in attendance to win.

Second prize is a photo shoot with your photo on the cover of Below the Belt magazine and a two-page spread in the magazine written by the publisher, along with copies of the photos. You must also be in attendance to win.

At 9 p.m. Boston Pizza is scheduled to show the broadcast from Las Vegas of the world welterweight bout between Floyd Mayweather and Marcus Rene Maidana.

Basically, it's going to be fun and it will towards a good cause! It's a win win situation so don't hesitate to contact me for a ticket. I have 19 tickets left so message me for one!!! :D

Thank you!!

Posted on April 12, 2016

Posted on April 12, 2016

WOW!!! I am more than half way there guys! Raised $4000 in less than a month for this cause. Thank you so much for your support and generosity, it will go a long way! I am focusing on my exams for a bit now and I will be going to Greece after that. I can't describe the excitement I'm feeling and how eager I am to go and help! Thank you for joining me in this mission by helping me go there and make a BIGGER impact during my 4 month stay!

It's going to be a life changing experience and I will keep all my donors posted and updated on how everything goes. Thank you for wanting to make a difference with me and God bless! 

SHARE my story to help me spread the word and raise awareness!

Posted on April 5, 2016

Posted on April 5, 2016

Good morning everyone!! I just want to update you and thank each and everyone of you for taking 2 mins of your time to listen to my story and for breaking the diet with a cheat treat JUST to contribute to my cause. wink emoticonWe have by far exceeded our expectations for a bake sale and raised almost $1000 in just one day!! Crazy, right? This is how powerful collective action can be. There is no such thing as a small amount. It's about doing our best to make a difference! 

UTM is not just a school about academics. In fact, the sympathy and caring of every student was refreshing! Thank you to the UTM Students' Union (UTMSU)for supporting me and a special thank you to my friends, roommates and family Griselda Jonuzajand Youssef Rachid, I don't need to list the things I couldn't have achieved without you! True people stay by your side even when it's not convenient for them. Despite all the responsibilities that come with this project, they support me every second to make it happen! 

Another big thank you to Nour-dean Chahrour, once a stranger now a dear friend who took the initiative to support this cause, not just by donating but by offering his resources to make this NEW video I'm about to share with you! 

WATCH IT and SHARE and find out how you can help ME help THEM!

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