My friend Basel is a Syrian refugee living in Lebanon and he is being sponsored to move to Canada. I am fundraising towards the money he needs for his sponsorship.
I have known Basel for a number of years and first met him through the language centre where I worked in Beirut. We stayed in touch during my time in Beirut and have done so since I moved back to the UK. Lebanon is overwhelmed by the number of refugees it hosts. The country is about half the size of Wales and its population is a bit bigger than Scotland’s, yet it hosts around 2 million refugees, which is about a third of the overall population. So conditions for refugees are generally not good, it is very difficult to get a permit to work legally and support yourself properly, and there is a lot of resentment towards refugees. However, since Lebanon’s recent financial crisis, compounded massively by the COVID lockdown, conditions are much worse for everyone in Lebanon, but especially refugees.
I was delighted to find out that Basel has a group supporting him to move to Canada. The group is fundraising $18,000 (CAD) (approximately £10,500), which is required as part of the sponsorship. This amount will cover Basel’s expenses for his first year in Canada and the group will be responsible for supporting him as he settles in. I have agreed to try to raise $1000 (CAD) (approximately £600), which I will collect and send to the Canadian fundraising page once I have met the target. The overall process is quite long, so the group is pressing on despite COVID restrictions, in the hope that they will be behind us by the time the process is complete.
I am sure you appreciate how life changing this move would be for Basel. Right now, he is living in the basement of a shop, unable to work legally. Prices for essentials in Lebanon continue to rocket because of inflation caused by the financial crisis and, right now, there is the added risk of COVID, for which Basel doesn’t have any health insurance. Moving to Canada and being supported by a group there would allow Basel to escape poverty and discrimination, get access to jobs, education and healthcare, and overall have a much better life.
Thank you for any donation you are able to contribute :)