Thursday, 24 November 2016

A message to our donors

The members of the Ripple Refugee Project wanted to provide all of you, our generous donors, with an update on the Abdallah family, who arrived from Syria to Canada last December, and regarding other sponsorships and initiatives undertaken by the Ripple Refugee Group.

The Abdallahs are settling well into their new life here in Toronto.  All the family members are working hard to develop their English language skills which is a priority in order to provide them with a solid foundation for their new life. The two youngest family members, who are 6 and 8, are already pretty much fluent while the adults are making great progress. Now with the 12th-month anniversary approaching, attention is turning to finding work so that they can support themselves going forward.

Baby shower for the soon-to-arrive newest family member

:  We have had tremendous support in settling this family into their new life from so many different organizations and individuals and we want to thank everyone who has been involved.  While there are too many to mention, we want to highlight the support from the University Health Network (UHN), the Arab Community Centre of Toronto (ACCT), Access Alliance, Dentists, Sunnybrook Hospital, Ryerson University, Lifeline Syria, the many volunteer Arabic-speaking interpreters and members of that community, and from a wide range of other people in the extended Toronto community.

And of course, our refugee sponsorships would not be possible without all of your generous donations - THANK YOU!

UPCOMING ARRIVALS - We are looking forward to welcoming a family of 3 before Christmas, who are arriving from Syria via Turkey with a new born baby in tow.  We also have an application for another family of 3 and for a single young man who is related to the Abdallahs, who should all be here hopefully by mid 2017. The Ripple group plans to continue sponsoring refugees over the coming years - it has been such a rewarding and transformative experience for all of us.

As Ryerson Lifeline Syria has stopped accepting donations for all their sponsorship teams, which we are one of, we will be working with another organization to continue our funding efforts in order to support the sponsorship of more refugee families in the future - Please stand by for an update regarding this new donation channel. 

ON-GOING ADVOCACY AND SUPPORT EFFORTS - From the beginning, an important goal of the Ripple Refugee Project was to advocate to the government and public for the value and importance of the Private Sponsorship model, to encourage people to get involved and to support other private sponsorship groups in whatever way we can. Below are some more recent examples of our efforts in this area:

- We continue to meet with other private sponsorship groups to provide guidance in their efforts  3 of our members were co-founders of the Canada4Refugees group which formed last May in order to advocate for and provide support to the citizen-led refugee resettlement model and initiatives.    

- Advocacy through the media in order to build domestic and international support for Syrian refugee initiatives, the private sponsorship model and to encourage people to get involved: 

a) Our newcomer family was recently featured on BBC International Radio and TV broadcasts (click here to view the heartwarming TV story) which also shows an amazing surprise reunion between the BBC reporter, Lyse Ducet and a Syrian family that was last seen in dire circumstances in Damascus.

b) The family and the Ripple Refugee Project group were also featured in the Globe and Mail (Click Here) 

c) On Dutch TV (starts at minute:17:23) (Click Here).

d) Al Jazeera's TV show, "The Stream" (Click Here), featured The Ripple Refugee Project in its episode on private citizens helping Syrian Refugeesple Refugee Project. 



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