– written by Laura-Jean Bernhardson, CEO and Founder of Fresh Collective
Over the summer I shared on this blog about a woman from Syria, Ramia, who contacted me over Facebook.
She had contacted several Canadians who are active in the Syrian refugee cause and brought us all together to help her get her family out of harm’s way.
Together, and with the help of many more, we created a team to handle all the paperwork and help her safely move from where they were stuck in Syria into a Lebanese refugee camp.
We also had to raise $33,000 to be able to fund the sponsorship to bring her family to Canada.
Now Ramia and her family are much safer, the paperwork to bring them over has been submitted and we are waiting for the next steps.
In the meantime, a member of our team was contacted by another woman.
A desperate mother willing to do anything for her child.
This woman is Nour and she needs our help.
Nour is a Syrian displaced by the war.
She and her fiancé fled Syria for Libya after the university Nour was attending was torched and their homes were destroyed.
They found a short respite from war in Libya, and felt hopeful enough about the future that they married and had a child- their beloved Jad.
Sadly, this peace was not to last.
In 2014 a new civil war started in Libya in 2014, and Tripoli, the capital city, became a violent and dangerous place to live.
Khaled, Nour’s husband, recently lost his job when his boss was kidnapped by members of an armed militia.
Now Nour too has lost her job and their work permits have expired.
They can’t go home- home has been destroyed.
They can’t stay- it’s not safe and they can’t work.
The situation is getting worse and more dangerous by the week.
Nour explained to me over Facebook that it’s particularly dangerous for women where she is.
Women are required to wear a headscarf and not to go out alone.
Abductions for ransom are common.
As the situation grows more dire, Nour is losing hope.
She tells us her husband wants to sell a kidney.
They want to try to take to the sea in a boat which is incredibly dangerous.
We launched their campaign in the summer, and it didn’t pick up speed like we hoped.
It’s about 10% of the way there after a month.
I feel sick to say when I look at the picture and quote above, my own vacation plans got in the way of making this work faster for them.
But I have promised Nour that we will keep working till we raise the money, so here we go.
I hope you will join us.
We are creating a group of people across Canada, each committed to raising $1,000 in their community. We will support you in coming up with a plan and succeeding at it.
What kind of people can join the 23? Anyone who wants to make a difference. Ordinary people can do this. In fact, if you can simply inspire 40 people to each donate 25 dollars, we will have reached your goal.
You may be:
- A community leader in your school, workplace, church, mosque or synagogue
- Someone in the media with a following – you have a popular blog or other kind of audience
- A small business owner
- Someone with a large group of family and friends
Ways you can work to raise the $1000:
- Do a fundraiser in your community
- Do an initiative with your business
- Share on social media and ask friends and family to donate
How we will support you (and each other):
Through our secret Facebook group, we will keep in touch with each other, sharing our fundraising successes and challenges and learning as we go.
People in this Facebook group will keep sharing the incredible story and sharing the initiatives that are going on to raise the funds. We’ll share your efforts, coach you on next steps and work together to help this brave woman and her children.
The story will be created as we grow our group, work together to raise funds and see the money raised grow.
Find out more about joining us as one of the 23. Click here for more info and to sign up.