IT TAKES A VILLAGE ….. to aid a family displaced from theirsSalma with her brother Adnan and her son Rebaz at their reunion at  YVR on March 21st, 2017.  (Pictured higher above: Amal, Agid and the sponsorship team at YVR on August 11, 2017.)  

"My husband  Agid and I were studying Physics and English Literature at Alfourt University when the civil war commenced in Syria. 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 Iraqi Kurdistan in order to avoid my husband being recruited by different military groups and being threatened."  -Amal 

"When ISIS attacked our village Tel Mar’uf in Northeastern Syria in 2014, my husband, Nihad, and our children fled to Iraq. We left behind our home, extended family, and our life, as we knew it. My brother lives in Burnaby and we wanted to resettle there so that we could start rebuilding a safe and healthy future for our children.” -Salma

The "It Takes a Village" Team were thrilled to welcome sisters Salma and Amal and their young families to Vancouver in March and August 2017 to begin their new lives as Canadians.  Salma's family of five settled in Burnaby in March - both parents are already working in their fields and their oldest child eagerly started kindergarten in the fall. 

Amal and her family of four arrived more recently in August and have settled in North Vancouver.  Amal and her husband have registered for language training and are keen to get back to university to finish their degrees as soon as soon as possible. We are actively  fundraising to support Amal and Agid's living expenses for the upcoming year while they get established. 

Our Story
We are a group of concerned Lions Bay 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 Settlement Agency MOSAIC, we connected with Adnan in 2015, a Kurdish Syrian who has been living in Burnaby for the last decade. He was desperate to find a way to bring his siblings and their families to Canada to find new homes away from harm. We formed a "Group of Five" to sponsor his two sisters and their 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. 

With the ongoing support of our amazing communities and networks we have reunited these siblings with their local relatives and hope to continue supporting both families to realize their hopes and dreams for themselves and their children.

Any donations received on this site will be used towards supporting each families' living expenses during their first year in Canada, including rent, food and transportation expenses. The goal of the sponsorship program is to support each family to become independent within one year of arrival. Salma's family is already well on their way, while Amal's family is full of optimism and hope for their future here.  

We are hoping to raise at least another $30,000 to ensure we have enough money to fulfill our sponsorship obligations to both families. 


- Each and every one of you who has made a donation on this site or to us in person

-Anna Edmonds and her many student team members at Mulgrave School who have so far raised $7,928 through their 360 Campaign!

- Gleneagles Ch'axay Elementary School who has raised almost $2000 at their February family movie night and other PAC events! 

- Lions Bay Elementary School who raised over $2000 at their Spell-a-thon and Pancake Breakfast!

-Madame Heiberg's Grade 3 class at Pauline Johnson Elementary School who raised over $100 selling school supplies! 

- All who attended or supported our “It Takes a Village” evening hosted by Todd Talbot of “Love It or List It” in January which raised more than $35,000! 


- Make a donation on this website

- Organize your own fundraiser (school based events, bake sales, intimate gatherings, silent auctions etc.) A group member would be delighted to make a presentation at any initiative you have in mind.

- For more information please email us at:

- Track our progress by following our blog at:

With gratitude,

The “It Takes a Village” Team

~ Noelene Searle-Valleau, Meighan Jury, Alison Gerlach, Ruth Simons, Ami McKay, Kelly Taylor, Helen Dudley, Nicola Dudley, Alison Dudley, John Dudley and Rose Dudley ~

Salma & Nahid's village of Tel Mar'uf where 470 families once lived. Salma and Amal's brother, Adnan, who lives in Burnaby with his wife & twin daughters.

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