Help Ramia

Ramia is a proud mother of four beautiful children. She’s finishing her university degree and hopes to become a teacher one day. She misses her husband, who has found work in construction across the border in Lebanon.

 What’s wrong with this picture? Ramia and her children live in a tent in Syria. They share a bare mattress and survive on fava beans: one can a day. Ramia’s husband, Mohammed, is recovering from a stroke that was in part a reaction to the stress of trying to reach the border with his family. Ramia sold one of her last remaining pieces of gold jewelry to pay for his medical treatment in Lebanon., where he works and shares a room with 12 other men.

The border region where Ramia and her children live is not safe – assaults of every kind are common. But the cost of living is cheaper in Syria, and that matters when you’re close to starving. Lebanon is expensive, and it’s unwelcoming to Syrian refugees. Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and the other countries surrounding Syria are doing their best to get rid of the refugees who have landed there and whose survival depends on staying out of Syria.

 The situation for this beautiful family could not be more perilous.

 How do we know this? Because Ramia, an intelligent and highly motived woman, has been in daily contact with a number of us Canadians, trying to find a better future for her family.  

 Those of us who have been fortunate enough to get to know Ramia include: Laura-Jean Bernhardson of Fresh Collective, the Toronto fashion label, and Siyar Abu Hantash, of Canada Today Arab news, and Zarah Tinholt, an advisor to Refugees Matter in Vancouver. Ramia, who talks to us every day, has sent us all the necessary documentation – government ID, graduation diplomas, birth certificates – required by Canadian immigration, as well as daily updates about her situation as she and her family have made the dangerous journey to the Syrian border.

 The community sponsor for Ramia and her family is Community Matters (, which has over two decades of experience helping newcomers get established in the St. James Town neighbourhood of Toronto. The head of Community Matters, Chris Hallett, an accountant by trade, will be administering the funds as he has with many other newcomers to Canada.

 We would love to welcome Ramia and her family  to Toronto and show them all the hope and warmth that Canada is known for. Here’s who they are:

 Ramia (32) speaks English and French and has nearly completed an undergraduate degree in literature

Mohammed (43) her husband, works in Beirut and is recovering nicely after his recent medical crisis

Mohammed Adnan (11), the eldest son, is inquisitive and likes puzzles and games

Ghiyath (10), his younger brother, likes reading and riding his bike

Sham (3) is a very smart, sensitive little girl, prone to tears

Zein (2), the youngest boy, is his mother’s little angel

Ramia's are people like you and me, who have been thrown by civil war into a nearly unbearable situation. Their time is running out. The UN certificate requirement is currently waived for Syrians, but only until September. And the window for Canada fast-tracking visa applications for Syrian refugees is also closing. We need to act now.

 Community Matters will handle the paperwork required by Canadian immigration. Our organization is already working with an immigration consultant to prepare the necessary documents, and the application process is nearly complete. 

 What’s holding us back from saving Ramia and her family is financing. The amount of $33,000 is what the Canadian government estimates that it costs to settle a family of six for one year in this country. After that, with some guidance and advice from Community Matters, the family will be in a position to support itself.

As they get settled,  your donation covers such valuable things as:
Rent for a year
Food for a year
Startup costs
Other necessities of life
Please help us bring Ramia and her family here today.

Thanks for supporting Ramia and her family


 See top
  • Anonymous 
    • $66 
    • 51 mos
  • Amber Way 
    • $200 
    • 51 mos
  • lennox mcneely 
    • $250 
    • 51 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $40 
    • 51 mos
  • Abby Van Den Broek 
    • $33 
    • 51 mos
See all


Chris Hallett 
Toronto, ON

  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more