A group of Victoria residents, known as the Fairfield Refugee Sponsorship, has launched a gift-giving campaign to help bring a Syrian refugee family to Victoria and start a new life.
The family of five the group is sponsoring fled Aleppo Syria in March 2015 and are now living in Turkey, where they fled to out of desperation. The region the family is living, however, is very dangerous with constant gunfire and bombings, according to the local group.
“It’s a no man’s land fought over by government forces and various rebel factions with civilians caught in the crossfire,” states a post on the website of Fairfield Refugee Sponsorship, which describe themselves as a group of concerned citizens who want to help Syrians who’ve lost everything in the conflict by welcoming them into the community.
“For more than a year, they were the only family remaining in their high rise apartment building. Their last neighbours, who live across the hall, were killed when their building was bombed in January 2014. The only reason this family survived is because they happened to be out.”
Through the campaign and other fundraising activities, the group is striving to raise $56,000 to support the family during their first year in Canada. The group also plans to help the family integrate into the community by providing assistance with housing, start-up supplies such as furniture and clothing, English as a second language training and employment.
So far the group has managed to reach their first goal of raising the $15,000 needed as a deposit before the sponsorship application is submitted to the Canadian government. The group has partnered with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria, which is allowed to bring in a set number of refugees every year.
The gift-giving catalogue offers a range of gifts from $10 to $1,000 that are 100 per cent tax deductible. On Nov. 20, the group is hosting another fundraising event called Sweet on Syria, which includes desserts, non-alcoholic drinks, live music and a silent auction at the City Light Church in Victoria.
During the federal election campaign, the Liberals promised to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of the year.