Hello! We are Team "OK Welcome to Canada!", a group of Toronto friends who have volunteered to help welcome Osama and his mother Khadijah during their resettlement in Canada.
Osama and Khadijah were Palestinian refugees in Syria with the rest of their family of five when civil war broke out. Osama was a well-loved community leader in their camp whose deep commitment to volunteerism kept him living separately from his parents, older brother and younger sister when they were among a group of refugees arrested without cause, detained for weeks and subjected to harsh treatment and torture at the hands of the state. Khadijah, her husband and their daughter were released; their other son, a promising young Masters student, was never released and to this day officials refuse to provide information about his fate. Khadijah also lost her husband soon after when he died of his injuries. After these traumatizing events, and upon Osama's graduation from Damascus University, the family relocated to Lebanon where they have been living as asylum seekers for nearly 5 years. They do not have UNHCR protection or the right to work due to a bureaucratic technicality related to having been refugees twice over. Osama's sister has managed to resettle in Canada through a undergraduate refugee sponsorship program only she was eligible for. She is now studying at Western and hasn't seen what's left of her family for nearly two years. During these two years, Osama and Khadijah were able to apply to Canada for asylum and are nearing the end of the process. Osama and Khadijah have been through so much and deserve the opportunity to find peace and security, and for their family to be united again.
To date, the minimum requirement for sponsorship has already been secured (equal to $1916 a month between both of them for the first 12 months). However, with the cost of living on the rise, the minimum won't suffice. Please help us raise another $15,000 to help cover their expenses as they spend their first year improving their English, finding employment and settling in.
Simply click 'donate'! to join us in welcoming this resilient and resourceful family to Canada. Anything helps from $5 for their first Tim Horton's to $150 for the first Metropass to $1000 toward their first month's rent. Your charitable donation receipt will be emailed to you, so you (and CRA) can reflect on your kindness come tax time. Thank you!
Regards,Yousaf ShahToronto, ON Canada