Pictured above: The "It Takes a Village" team welcoming the second sponsored Syrian family at the Vancouver International Airport in August 2017.   

"My husband  and I were studying at Al-Furat University in eastern Syria when the civil war began. We lost many of our friends when ISIS took control of parts of Hasaka Province. We were about to graduate, but had to flee to a refugee camp in northern Iraq in order to avoid my husband being threatened and recruited by different military groups."  -Amal 

The "It Takes a Village" Team were thrilled to welcome sisters Amal and Salma and each of their young families to Vancouver, BC in March and August 2017 to begin their new lives as Canadians.  

Salma, her husband and three young children arrived in March 2017. Salma's husband is now working at a manufacturing company in Metro Vancouver while Salma is taking part-time English classes and her 3 children attend elementary and pre-school. 

Amal, her husband and two children arrived in August 2017. Amal's husband is also working in manufacturing and taking advanced English classes with the goal of applying to complete his Masters degree in the future. Amal is studying English full-time while her children attend pre-school. 

With the generous support of our friends and neighbours, we raised enough money to support both families during their first year in Canada were able to cover all their living expenses including monthly apartment rental, food, clothing and travel expenses. Both families still have brothers, sisters and friends in refugee camps in Northern Iraq, however, and we are gratefully continuing to accept donations with the hope that we will be able to sponsor more families in the future. The cost to sponsor a family ranges from $25,000 - $40,000, depending on the size of family. 

Our Story
We are a group of concerned Lions Bay, BC residents who wanted to have a meaningful impact on the lives of families affected by the global refugee crisis. 

With the support of the BC immigrant services agency MOSAIC, we connected with some long-time Syrian Canadians in Metro Vancouver in 2015 who were desperate to find ways to bring relatives impacted by the war to Canada. We formed a "Group of Five" to sponsor Amal and Salma's families under Canada's private refugee sponsorship program. After more than a year of patient waiting, we were thrilled to welcome these families to Canada in 2017. 

While Salma and Amal's families are both now financially independent, we are continuing to collect donations to enable us to sponsor more families. Any new donations received on this site will be used to support future refugee families' living expenses during their first year in Canada, including monthly apartment rental, food, clothing and transportation expenses. The goal of the sponsorship program is to support each family to become independent within one year of arrival.  We are so pleased to say that the first two families we have sponsored have been able to meet this goal and are well on their way to establishing themselves in their new lives here. 

Please consider making a donation on this site or reach out to us by email if you are interested in helping us sponsor additional families. We are aware of at least four more Syrian families with young children who are currently in refugee camps in Northern Iraq and hoping to be sponsored to come to Canada.  

Many thanks! 

Group Members: Alison Dudley, Nicola Dudley, Noelene Searle-Valleau, Meighan Jury, Kelly Taylor, Ami McKay, Ruth Simons, Ali Gerlach, John & Rose Dudley  

Contact: Alison Dudley alison_eric@shaw.ca 

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