“With Christmas around the corner, many of us are thinking about ways to give back to the community this holiday season. With that in mind, Revelstoke for Refugees is doing a final fundraising drive to help the Alsowwans as their year of sponsorship is coming to an end,” says Brodie Johnson, co-chair of Revelstoke for Refugees.
The Alsowwans are a family of four who, after a long and thorough process, were accepted by the Canadian Government as Syrian refugees. They arrived in Revelstoke ten months ago. The family consists of mom Amal, dad Fahran, and boys Hamza and Mohammed.
“We’ve noticed a huge improvement in their English, especially the boys,” says Johnson.
Farhan loves his job at the Nomad and has worked there since this past spring. With the help of community volunteers, Fahran has now passed his driver’s test. Amal has been working part time at the Childcare Society and is volunteering at the Food Bank every Friday.
“One thing that worries them, is the end of the financial support by Revelstoke for Refugees on January 21, 2020,” Johnson notes. “Revelstoke, like most of BC, is very expensive and rent alone can take up most of a low-income worker’s wages.”
In Canada, refugees receive a loan from the federal government to cover their travel expenses. Once the refugees sponsorship ends, they are required to pay back the loan. For the Alsowwans, this amounts to $6083, to be paid back over eight years. While the family is happy to pay it, coupled with everyday expenses, the debt is causing considerable anxiety.
“We would like to take that burden away by fundraising $6000 to pay off that travel loan and put their minds at ease,” explains Johnson. “For anyone who is interested in donating, we are asking for donations to be paid to the Revelstoke Community Foundation by cheque or online. Tax receipts will be issued for any donations over $25.”
Please drop off a cheque, made out to the Revelstoke Community Foundation, at the Revelstoke Visitor Centre at 301 Victoria Road W. You can also mail a cheque to the foundation at PO Box 189, Revelstoke, BC V0E 2S0. Please make sure that you write Syrian Refugee Fund on the memo line at the bottom of the cheque.
You can also donate online through the Community Foundation website.
Revelstoke for Refugees is happy to answer any questions, please feel free to contact Laura Stovel at firstname.lastname@example.org / 250-814-8971, or Brodie Johnson at email@example.com / 250-814-9334.