Bring Rania's Family to Canada

$14,114 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 24 months
Rania Almuradi* has been in London, Ontario for one year now, but her mother, brother and sister are still in Syria in deplorable conditions, with a civil war raging around them. Rania and her family are not Syrian, they came to Syria from Iraq as refugees in 2010. They are Sabean Mandaeans, an ethnic and religious minority who were persecuted in the chaos after Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled: 90% of the 60,000 Mandaeans in Iraq fled to neighbouring countries. But now they face persecution again with the spread of war into Syria. Mandaeans have been killed, kidnapped, and forced to convert by the militant groups that are ravaging the Levant, and Syria is no longer the safe refuge that it once was.

Western Ontario Friends of Refugees are a group of 7 families from London, Ontario who came together to help the people displaced by the civil war in Syria. We have been working with Rania to bring her family to safety. We need to raise $20,000 to support them for their first year in Canada, until they get settled and can support themselves. This $20,000 will pay for rent, furniture, clothing and groceries. It will support them while they take English classes, and while Rania's brother and sister complete high school, something they were not able to do after being driven out of Iraq.

Please give whatever you can. You can donate online here, or (preferably, because there is no service fee) you can write a cheque to "Diocese of Huron" and mail it to Erin Pocock, 241 Atkinson Blvd, London, ON, N5W 4Z5. We will also be accepting donations of furniture, food, clothing, and other household goods - please contact us through this account for more information.

Thank you very much, from Western Ontario Friends of Refugees and Rania and her family! Rania has told me again and again how grateful she is for the generosity of Canadians. She wishes that she could raise the money herself, but she has her hands full with a brand-new baby, less than a month old! So, lets all show her just how generous and welcoming Canadians are by helping Rania's mom meet her new granddaughter!

*Rania's name has been changed. Please also accept my apologies for not including more or better photos of Rania's family - for safety reasons we must respect their privacy.
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Hello to our generous friends, family, and complete strangers who've taken an interest in Rania's family. I wanted to give you an update on our progress over the past few months.

Sadly, we have not made much progress!! There have been a lot of very frustrating administrative hurdles and Rania's family are not much closer to coming to Canada. Because of changes to the expected refugee quotas placed upon the Anglican Diocese, they are no longer able to help us with our sponsorship and we've had to go it alone with the much more difficult and time-consuming Group of Five method of sponsorship.

The situation in Syria is growing more dire. When we started this process in January we thought they'd be here by now, but here they are, 8 months later and still risking the bombs and murdering gangs every day. They have decided to risk moving to Lebanon, knowing that the cost of living there is very expensive and that they will not be able to work there. The refugee camps are full, and almost as dangerous as Syria for religious minorities like them.

Our group has agreed to send them money in Lebanon in order to keep a roof over their heads and food on their plates. We figure, what is the point of raising all this money to support them in Canada if they don't survive long enough to get here!

We estimate that the Group of Five process could take another year or more, which means that we will need about $12,000 more to support them in Lebanon. We are not asking for more donations from those of you who have already given, but if you don't mind sharing this link with your friends and family, it would be appreciated so much!!

Thank you! Enjoy your summer and be thankful every day for what a privilege it is to not know the sound of bombs in the night!
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We've recently had a few setbacks in our efforts to brink Rania's family to Canada. Setbacks with processing our paperwork and getting the family out of Syria - Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have all closed their borders under pressure from Europe and and they are now trapped! We've spent a few days desperately contacting as many experts as we can, and we think that we may have found a way around it! Thank goodness!

So now we need to make some more progress with the fundraising. Unfortunately we cannot submit any of the paperwork until we have our funds in place, so please, please, share this with anyone who might be interested in helping! Not just in Canada - lots of American's would like to help the refugees but don't have a chance: well, Americans can help Canadians help the refugees!

On the positive side, we were featured in Western News!
http://news.westernu.ca/2016/03/group-looks-to-unite-family-amid-crisis/
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We've had a fantastic couple of weeks fundraising for Rania's family! So many of you have given money or contacted me with donations of furniture and appliances and clothing. Thank you so much for your generosity!

But we still have a long way to go. If you can share our gofundme account with your friends and family that will help us along the way! Thanks everyone!
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$14,114 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 65 people in 24 months
Created February 9, 2016
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