Support for Setting up a Home

When sponsorship groups agree to sponsor a family they take on the task of gathering all the necessary furniture and household items that are needed by this family.  It can be a daunting and time consuming task contacting friends, family, neighbours and the public for donations.  The more that is donated, the more funds will be left over for  rent, food, and other daily sundries.

Each group has to come up with an inventory list and must start searching.  Storage becomes an issue as donations pour in. Before you know it you have too much stuff.  With so many groups needing items it is important that everyone be able to benefit from the generosity of others, so sharing information about what you need and what you have to give to other groups becomes another aspect that can be quite daunting.  It is with that in mind that a few volunteers have come together to simplify the process,  and share resources.

  1. STORAGE:   a generous family has donated the use of their clean dry large garage/barn for the constituency groups to store the furniturethat they are going to use for their refugee family.  This is meant to be a back up storage when no other storage can be found, as space is limited. We have a volunteer who has agreed to coordinate access for drop off and pick up . Please contact:  Inkinddonationsforrefugees@gmail.com for more information.
  2. HOUSEHOLD ITEM SHARING:   In order to facilitate communication amongst the groups a very generous web developer has donated his time and efforts  to create a secure spreadsheet for the donation coordinator of each group to access so that they can share what furniture they still need and what they have extra.     Now you can check at a glance who has what you want and you can contact them directly.  The In Kind Donations for Refugees team will also advertise their contents on this site.
    If you would like to register for this please  go to Refugeesforvi.wordpress.com and click on Trading Post.
  3. HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE DEPOT:  The general public are currently being generous with their donations of furniture and household items.  In order to accept these donations before the groups are ready to look for items, a furniture depot has been developing .   Please forward the name & contact information of any donor offering items that your constituency group does not require to Inkinddonationsforrefugees@gmail.com.  We will follow-up with said donor and make arrangements for the offered items to be advertised on the Trading Post and stored for another groups use.
  4. HOUSEHOLD ITEMS DEPOT:  We are also gathering the above mentioned household items, sorting  them, and are developing a system to offer them to constituency groups.  The goal is to avoid spending money to purchase anything.  Please contact  inkinddonationsforrefugees@gmail.com for any items to donate or to access the pool.

We would like to thank the Shawn DeWolfe for his efforts developing the Trading Post, the Love family and Milne family for their generous donation of storage space, The Kiwanis Manor for their donations in kind, and the dozens of families from the general public who went through their households and donated  goods and furniture.

Please give us feedback to help us improve the Trading Post.

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The struggle continues – Haitham needs our help

Haitham’s neighbourhood being bombed

The refugee crisis is not over.

Millions of people have been displaced from their homes. Families and individuals have fled bombing, witnessed murders, and endured forced military service while they evade radical groups that are terrorizing their region. Many have lost everything. They had jobs, careers, homes, communities, stable lives, and friends. Those things have been destroyed.

Haitham is one of these people. His neighbourhood, in his hometown of Damascus, was destroyed by bombs. His family has been displaced and his community destroyed. His home is now a pile of rubble.

Searching for survivors in Haitham’s neighbourhood

Haitham’s neighbourhood – destroyed

Haitham fled when he was forced to choose between serving in the military or being killed. While his family fled to Egypt, Haitham followed a job lead to Turkey. The job did not materialize, and he spent the next couple of years scrambling to survive. Work was rarely available, and when it was, it was often underpaid or stolen. He found himself sleeping in parks and eating only eggs for months on end. Starving and unable to get enough to live on, he returned to Syria where he was immediately arrested and sentenced to hard labour.

After several months of labour, he managed to escape to Lebanon, crossing the border at night. There, he again lived under very difficult circumstances; beatings were common for Syrians living there.

Finally, after borrowing from every resource available, his parents were able to bribe officials to let him into Egypt. They were reunited for a short time. His family then had to leave him behind when were accepted into Canada as government sponsored refugees. Haitham has been struggling in Egypt ever since.

In the past couple of years, the United Nations has recorded the highest number of refugees in history. Over 12 million people from Syria are displaced or seeking refuge, in addition to over 8 million people from Africa, Afghanistan, and the rest of the world. At the same time, the voluntary return rates—a measure of how many refugees can safely return home—are at their lowest levels in over 3 decades. Never before has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion, and support for people who have lost everything. For many of these people, getting enough to eat is a daily challenge, abuse is common, and there is little hope for a better future.

Haitham and his newly born son

In 2016, the outpouring of support in Canada for Syrian refugees was tremendous. People from Victoria came together and sponsored dozens of families. The Federal Government matched this effort by bringing nearly as many families to Lower Vancouver Island.

Since then, a lot of people have been busy helping these new Canadians set up their homes and settle into a new life. But there is more to do. There are more people to reunite with their families and more people to give a chance at a safe and secure life.

Haitham is such a person. Now that he is married and has a baby son, life has become even more difficult. He and his new family desperately need our help to resettle near his parents, who have recently arrived in Canada.

I have been helping newly arrived refugees for the past two years by receiving and distributing donated household goods and furniture to help them completely furnish and set up their new households thanks to the help of Victoria’s generous donors and volunteers.

Now, I want to do more. I want to sponsor Haitham. But, I cannot do it alone. It will take a small committed multi-skilled group, pulling together to do, over a 12 month period, all that needs to be done to resettle Haitham’s small family ..from housing to health, ESL and much more, so as to help them integrate and become self sustaining. And, this group will have to raise the money required to do all this, as other groups have done before us.

Contact me at inkinddonations@gmail.com or call 778-433-0337

 

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