The Circle of Hope for Sayf

Syrian refugees are being accepted worldwide, however the need exceeds the available resources. This is why citizens are working with the Canadian Government to bring refugees to Canada. The Canadian Government is currently offering to match donations for citizen groups sponsoring refugees until the end of 2015.

I have joined a Circle of Hope to help sponsor a Syrian refugee and I am asking for your help. Circles of Hope are small citizen action groups that fundraise and provide support to refugees once in Canada. We are working with the Rainbow Refugee Society (RRS) which supports and advocates with people seeking refugee protection because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status. RRS in turn works with Canadian government refugee sponsor organizations and ours is The United Church of Canada.

We have chosen to work with Sayf, a refugee from Damascus, Syria. He is 33 years old and had a career in marketing in Syria. He resided with his family, but was not able to be ‘out’ in his community and had faced pressure to marry under duress. In addition to these personal challenges, he was forced to avoid being recruited into Assad’s army, an unsafe place for a queer person as members of the QLBGT community are being hunted and killed in Syria. He saw no other alternative but to seek refugee status in Turkey. He very much wants to leave the camp and establish a new life in Canada where he can live freely and in peace. As a refugee Sayf faces discrimination, poverty, and the health issue ofHepatitis B and cannot afford medication.

Our Circle of Hope is looking to sponsor Sayf’s journey to a better life. We heard Sayf’s story and his request for help through QLGBT refugee activist Danny Ramadan. Danny asked for a circle to be formed for Sayf. We need to raise at least $12,000 to help Sayf. In order to obtain matching support from the federal government we must do this quickly under their current plan set to expire at the end of 2015. Canada is stepping up. I am asking you to donate to help Sayf into Canada and be supported here.

To learn more about RRS work and initiatives, please see the following link:

To learn more about the government initiative to sponsor refugees, please see the following link: