Rana Faris is looking for help bringing her sister and her sister’s family to the Cowichan Valley.
Faris, her husband Ali Al-hamadi and their two children Hussein and Layan are Syrian refugees that were sponsored to come to Canada four years ago.
She said she had to leave her sister, Yasmin Faris, Yasmin’s husband Bashar and their eight children in a refugee camp in Jordan, where they have lived for the past 10 years after escaping the civil war in their country.
“Bashar and two of his children have a genetic eye disease that is leading to blindness and are in urgent need of treatment,” Rana said.
“Because of the shortage of funds and doctors, and the rules around leaving the refugee camp, they are not able to get the medical attention they need. With each passing month, their conditions deteriorate and I am very worried about them.”
Rana said she and her family are working with the Cowichan Intercultural Society to privately sponsor her sister, who is more like a mother to her, and her sister’s family to come to the Cowichan Valley.
“We were helped by a group of woman and we are so grateful to them and everyone who has helped us since we came here,” Rana said.
“Now we are looking for another group of kind people to help my sister Yasmin and her family.”
In addition to finding sponsors, Rana said the Canadian government requires that $42,000 be raised for the sponsorship of the family before the Cowichan Intercultural Society can submit their application.
“This is a large sum of money for anyone, so I’m trying to get the word out to as many people as I can to ask for help,” she said.
Amanda Vance, executive director of the CIS, said Rana and her family are kind people who have worked very hard to establish themselves in Canada.
“They are an inspiration to all of us at CIS, and I hope their story of resilience and family love will inspire others as well,” Vance said.
“This funding level ($42,000) is required by the federal government for a family of 10 to live on for one year during their first year in Canada, and it is high because they are a large group.”
Rana said if people donate to help her sister’s family come to Canada through the CanadaHelps fundraising organization, they will receive an automatic tax receipt and all funds will be held in trust by the Cowichan Intercultural Society.
In the box that says “Donate To This Charity”, make sure you scroll through the drop-down menu and select “Private Sponsorship Group: Yasmin Faris Family” to ensure the money will go into the right fund.
For more information, contact the CIS at 250-748-3112.
Rana said if anyone would like to sponsor her sister and her sister’s family, call her at 250-710-0559 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.