As you may already know, I have been working with local volunteers and Umoja Society to bring my family to Canada since 2009. Some of you are those local volunteers. Thank you for your continued support and solidarity.
My family and I are survivors of the Burundian genocide and civil war, targeted by Hutu thugs because they refused to murder their Tutsi neighbors and targeted by Tutsi thugs because they are Hutu.
I last saw my family 10 years ago, in Dzaleka refugee camp in Malawi before I left through a prestigious World University Services of Canada scholarship to live permanently and study in Canada and to study at SFU for a BA. Later for a BScN, currently working as a Registered Nurse. My family eventually fled the Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi after they were violently attacked.
They relocated to South Africa, but the violence followed. There they have been victims of terrifying xenophobic violence in South Africa. In 2015 they witnessed three people being burned alive outside the house in which they barricaded themselves. I had to send them $3,000 to help them flee more xenophobic violence as they feared their house being set on fire while they were barricaded inside.
After years of hard work fundraising and advocating to the government, finally my parents and 6 siblings are due to arrive in Canada as permanent residents September 20th, 2017. This is a chance to start over and rebuild their lives. And finally be together as family. This is a private sponsorship with no government support. My family even has to repay flight fare.
A trust fund has been set aside as part of the sponsorship process to assist in paying for rent for first couple months until they can find employment. However, there is pressing need with assistance towards basic needs to facilitate smooth integration of my resilient and courageous family. Your generous funds will go towards foods, transportation of donated items such as furniture and other urgent needs.
Through Umoja Society volunteer reference letters and tax deductible receipts will be provided as acknowledgement for your contribution. Every dollar really does count and we are grateful for any help you can provide. Please share widely and help show my family that they are loved and welcomed here. Your support means the world to us.
With thanks for your generosity and support,
Joselyne on behalf of family, dad, mom, and my 6 siblings.
- Ben Lee
- Colette Leisen
- Tamara Connell
- Rebecca Lee
- Hana Anne
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