My name is Jim Estill and I've been doing all that I can to help this group of people in need. Over the past year or so, I've welcomed over 67 families from Syria into my hometown of Guelph, Ontario.
We are the sponsor of the families we fund. We are a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) authorized by the Canadian government to bring in refugees. Although we are a SAH, the government only gives us limited spaces for sponsorship. The refugees are financially supported at a level of support required by the government. The amounts are outlined in the RAP tables. As a SAH, we are monitored by the Canadian government - specifically the IRCC . All refugees we sponsor are cleared by the Canadian government and meet the UN definition of a refugee.
Our contact with the refugees starts when we meet them at the airport. We then take them to their temporary home - often a volunteer billet or a furnished apartment or due to the large number arriving now, we have been using motels. Each family is assigned a mentor group consisting of 4-5 mentor families. The mentors have checklists like meet immigrant services, set up a bank account, find a place to live and set it all up including furniture, utensils, dishes, linens etc, register children in school, register adults in ESL school if needed, get a bus pass, ride the bus, get a library card etc.
Throughout the process, I've been amazed at the number of people that stepped forward to these people with me. They've offered their time, resources, and even places in their homes.
It didn't stop there. As my story spread around the world, many others have reached out to me wanting to help.
And that's why I'm starting this GoFundMe campaign. For all those want to help but are just a bit too far away. For everyone that has been moved by this tragedy but didn't know how they could help.
The money raised from this campaign will go directly to helping Syrian families settle into new lives in Canada. It will help them pay rent and expenses until they are working. Some of the money will be used to buy food for our starter kits and monthly food distribution. We also spend some on moving donations and buying some of the things the refugees need to settle (like new mattresses and pillows) We also buy ESL materials.
I will be responsible for withdrawing the funds and allocating them appropriately. They are withdrawn as needed by the refugees. 100% of the funds go directly to buy items needed or paid to the refugees.
For more on my story: http://torontolife.com/city/life/jim-estill-the-man-who-saved-200-syrian-refugees/
- Javed Khan
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