Syrian refugee and neurosurgeon, Karim, has been staying with a family in Esher for several months - organised through Refugees at Home. Now, after a long application process, his family reunification application has been granted and his wife and 3 children, one of whom is disabled, will finally be reunited with him after a year apart.
Before leaving Syria Karim was the lead neurosurgeon at a large hospital in a city in the North of the country. But like millions of refugees whose lives have been devastated by the Syrian conflict, he and his family were forced to flee when ISIS took over the area. Karim and his family fled to Turkey and attempted to make the perilous sea crossing to Europe.
Their overcrowded boat was within minutes of sinking when they were rescued by a Turkish naval patrol and taken back to Turkey.
Karim left his wife and three children living in cramped conditions at a relative’s house on the war torn Turkey/Syria border. And in December 2015 he travelled overland to the UK. Karim was granted asylum here in June 2016.
In January this year, after a tense process of application through the Home Office, Karim was thrilled to learn that the British Embassy in Turkey had issued his wife and family visas enabling them to join him in the UK.
However, the task of resettling an entire refugee family is significant. Karim’s family will be arriving in just a few weeks with little more than a suitcase. They will need a tremendous amount of financial and material support setting up their new lives.
Both Karim and his wife are highly experienced medical professionals (neurology and obstetrics) and hope to practice medicine here in the UK in the near future. To this end, Karim is studying English via IELTS training to refine his language skills prior to seeking registration with the General Medical Council. But in the short to medium term, he and his family will be dependent upon a very modest income from benefits and the generosity of the Elmbridge communities while they wait for their benefits applications to be processed. This can take up to 3 months. We need to fill the gap.
Karim has agreed to accept a large proportion of the donations in the form of a loan that he will repay to Elmbridge CAN's Refugee Support Fund. This means your donations will stretch to help more refugee families like Karim's, in the future.
How you can help
We need to raise £7000 to help Karim resettle his family in Elmbridge. This money will cover:
- deposit on a rental property*
- two-months rent*
- accessibility modifications / adaptations to rental property (e.g. stair lift)
- home furnishings**
- mobile connectivity
- food and basic needs for the first 3 months.
Please donate whatever you can to help Karim.
*We will be offering to cover the costs of the rental property deposit and two months rent under a loan agreement. Once repaid, these funds will be donated to Elmbridge CAN’s Refugee Support Fund and re-used in a similar manner for other refugee families (see below).
**We will also be seeking good quality material donations to ensure that this funding is stretched as far as possible.
Managing your donations
Karim is being supported by Elmbridge CAN – an established community organisation whose aim is to mobilise the communities of Elmbridge to support the needs of refugees around the world and the resettlement of refugees in Elmbridge Borough.
Elmbridge CAN is in the process of establishing a Refugee Support Fund to support the needs of refugees across Elmbridge and the surrounding area. But this takes time to set up. As such, we have chosen to crowd fund this urgent appeal on behalf of Karim to ensure that his family received the immediate support they need. Any excess donations will be given to the Refugee Support Fund.