Syrian Refugee Sponsorship Project: Update

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Month 13

Ousama completed his 12 month sponsorship in July.

Our next sponsorship

We still await the arrival of our next Syrian family of six, Souher and Raid and their four children.

Afternoon Tea Fundraiser

An elegant Afternoon Tea fundraiser for the Refugee Project will be held on Saturday, November 4. Come with your friends to enjoy a lovely afternoon. Tickets available at Coffee Hour in October, or online.


Meet the new Canadians!

At the end of 2016, we celebrated one full year in Canada with Siham, Carmen, Jana and Judy! Siham is working as a Settlement Worker, helping other immigrants to settle in Canada.

Ousama, Carmen’s fiancé, arrived in Canada July 2016 to join the family! He is a dedicated team member with Fairlawn’s Refugee Sponsorship Team helping the next refugee family come to Canada.

Ronny completed his sponsorship period in February 2017. He is doing well and has employment in the construction business.

We have chosen another Syrian family with four children. Our sponsorship application has been approved by Immigration Canada and the family awaits their interviews in Beirut.



Send a cheque:
Payable to Fairlawn Avenue United Church, marked “Refugee Fund”
Address: Fairlawn Refugee Fund, 28 Fairlawn Ave., Toronto ON M5M 1S7

Donate online:

Donate Household Furnishings


Why sponsor a Syrian Family?

  • Humanitarian crisis in Syria; tremendous need
  • Our Christian faith calls us to “love and serve others”
  • The Fairlawn Call urges us to embrace action to make a difference in the world
  • Fairlawn and its surrounding community have many resources to share
  • Fitting way to celebrate Fairlawn’s first hundred years
  • See also: Summary on the Refugee Info Pamphlet


Who did we sponsor?

We sponsored a Syrian family of four – a mother, older daughter and twin 8-year-old daughters. They fled to Lebanon after the father was killed by a sniper when he went out to buy bread, and they were refugees for approx. 3 years. The family arrived in Canada in December 2015.

Since then, we sponsored two more Syrian cases, Ousama and Ronny, and the fourth case, a family of six, is underway.

What are Fairlawn’s responsibilities?

  • Financial support for 12 months – rent, food, transportation, basic needs
  • Start-up support – find and furnish an apartment, meet at airport
  • Integration – help find a doctor, schools, language class, government services, interpreters, employment
  • Emotional support.


How much will it cost?

Thanks to generous support from far and near, we have sufficient funds to cover basic living costs for our current families.

Please extend your generosity to help support our next family: mom and dad (who are both engineers), three teenagers and a toddler.

We want to continue to grow the Refugee Fund to allow us greater flexibility in meeting the refugee family’s needs and emergencies if they arise. We invite you to contribute to this designated fund as generously as you are able. Donations are “tax-receiptable”.


Q & A

Questions & Answers about the Refugee Sponsorship Project
– Q and A from the AURA meeting with Alexandra Kotyk
– Dialog with Christopher & Alexandra Kotyk of AURA


In the news – Fairlawn’s Refugee Sponsorship Story


Feb 5 After a month in Canada – CBC Power and Politics interviewed Siham and Christopher on Friday, February 5. Advance the interview to Time 1:42 to skip the other stories on this link:

Jan 6 Welcoming the new Canadians! – Interview with Christopher and Siham on CBC Metro Morning


Dec 27 Safely Arrived – Siham’s story: Refugee family arrives in Toronto, 3 years after flight from Syria, CBC News

Dec 27 Welcome to Canada! – Fast forward to 6:00 minute mark for our story

Dec. 9 Radio interview update with Christopher and Siham on Matt Galloway’s Metro Morning CBC Radio program FM 99.1  Filled with hope.
Hear the podcast

Oct. 11 Radio interview from CBC 99.1 Metro Morning with host Matt Galloway
Hear the podcast >
Read the story >

View the September 22, 2015 Global News interview with Rev. Christopher White and Kathleen Magladry.Fairlawn continues to press the government to expedite the paperwork for this Syrian Refugee Family. Kathleen demonstrates the readiness of the congregation to provide a furnished new home and many services to help the family adjust to life in Canada.
Global News interview >

View the September 18, 2015 CBC interview on “Power and Politics” with Rev. Christopher White. Christopher describes the difficulty in getting this family to Canada, and the need for the government to expedite the process. The interview includes a video clip of the 8-year old twins learning to speak English from their mother.
CBC interview: Sponsoring Syrian Refugees >



Starting up your own Refugee Project?
Here are some documents that may help you