Pictured above: Sponsorship team welcoming Amal and her family at YVR Airport in August 2017.   

"My husband  and I were studying at Al-furat 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 northeastern Syria in 2014, I fled to Iraq with my husband and our children. We left behind our home, extended family, and our life, as we knew it. My brother lives in Burnaby, BC 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, BC in March and August 2017 to begin their new lives as Canadians.  

Salma's family of five has now been here for more than a year. Both parents are working - Salma's husband as a carpenter and Salma as a seamstress - and are taking English classes. Their oldest child eagerly started kindergarten last fall and his English is coming along quickly.   

Amal and her family of four arrived last August. Both parents are still in English classes and Amal's husband is applying to SFU to finish his science degree while working part-time.  

We are actively  fundraising to support Amal's family's living expenses for the rest of the year. We are also hoping to raise more money to help both families sponsor additional relatives who are still in refugee camps in Duhok & Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.  

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 Settlement Agency MOSAIC, we connected with some long-time Syrian Canadian residents in Burnaby, BC 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. 

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, and to sponsor additional relatives. 

Any donations received on this site will be used towards supporting refugee 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. 

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