Hi everyone! We haven't updated you in a while. Here's what's happening.
In December the Canadian government announced that it would be putting a cap of 1000 on the number of Syrian and Iraqi refugees who would be allowed to come to Canada by a group of five sponsorship without UNHCR certification - G and M do not have UNHCR certification. The wording was confusing and the information was not widely publicized, so many sponsor groups were blindsided by the news when they learned about it over a week later - and learned also that it was retroactive, meaning time was suddenly a matter of life and death.
We scrambled to get our applications in and, while many have received the devastating news that they missed the cutoff, I am thrilled to be able to say that we did not miss it and our application has been received and acknowledged. We have been given a G number, which is a big, huge deal.
Now we wait. We wait for the processing and for the application to be shipped to the visa office in the United Arab Emirates. The wait times are said to be approximately 18 months, but we are writing to our local MPs to ask that G and M's application be expedited due to the fact that we believe they are in more imminent danger than many other refugees.
Whee the funds stand: Walk Like a Refugee raised approximately $12,000 (not bad for three adults and one little kid over six days -- who were almost COMPLETELY IGNORED BY ALL LOCAL MEDIA) and we raised another $4,000 separately. We then borrowed the remainder required to file the application.
We still need to raise enough money to repay this loan and, on top of that, we will need to pay the total sum of the fines G and M are currently accumulating for overstaying their welcome in the United Arab Emirates. The longer this process takes, the more we will have to pay. This means that we still need you to GIVE GENEROUSLY to help these people.
Honestly, these efforts take forever and can be frustrating, and it feels like making even the slightest bit of difference requires a disproportionately huge amount of effort. But in the end it is worth it.
Stay tuned for more fundraising efforts!
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me." - Matthew 25:35
We need your support and your donations. To learn more and to donate please visit:
The Westside Refugee Response on Fundrazr.com: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/c19ub2
And on Youcaring.com: https://www.youcaring.com/westside-refugee-response-623805