Sari Alesh debuted his new band at the Swinging Spring Soiree. Alesh played with the National Orchestra in Syria and since coming to Canada has expanded his repertoire to include everything from Cape Breton fiddle music to rock n’ roll hits. (Photo provided)

Sari Alesh debuted his new band at the Swinging Spring Soiree. Alesh played with the National Orchestra in Syria and since coming to Canada has expanded his repertoire to include everything from Cape Breton fiddle music to rock n’ roll hits. (Photo provided)

Harbour of Hope reaches $100k fundraising goal to help refugee families

Organization aims to cover the families’ living expenses for a year and beyond

The Harbour of Hope Refugee Assistance Society reached their fundraising goal after their latest event — The Swinging Spring Soiree on April 12.

The goal of $50,000 was met and matched by Tim Smith of Westrek Geotechnical Services Ltd., totalling $100,000.

Currently the Harbour of Hope society has undertaken sponsorship of two families, both of whom are currently in the interview process with Canadian Immigration. The money raised is to cover their expenses for their first year in Canada.

“We thank all our sponsors, friends and donors for the success — especially our matching donor Tim Smith. We are so delighted to reach the goal,” said J Scott, fundraising coordinator for Harbour of Hope.

RELATED: Syrian violinist plays with new Canadian band at upcoming fundraiser

According to Scott, it’s very possible that both refugee families will arrive in Victoria within the next six months. They are the first two families to be sponsored by Harbour of Hope.

Besides covering the families’ living expenses for a year, Harbour of Hope also aims to help refugees past the first year through assisting the families to find housing, enroll in language classes and supporting them in community integration. The society is also committed to fostering community with refugees who are already in Victoria through ways such as helping get a business started or settled into dorm rooms at university.

RELATED: Harbour of Hope Society to host fundraiser for refugee families

“Our help goes beyond the [money], we help by just being there,” said Scott.

Both families already have family members settled in Victoria and are looking forward to joining them. Razan Haj Ibrahim and her family are in Beiruit, Lebananon and Suhila and Reem Albalkhi are in Amman, Jordan.

Harbour of Hope also invites the community to their upcoming annual general meeting on May 8 at the Parkside Hotel and Spa in the James Bay Room at 5 p.m. For more information visit harbourofhope.org.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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