Special Appeal: Raise $20,000 by December 2017
Thanks to the generosity and compassion of the congregation and supporters, our Syrian Family Sponsorship initiative raised significant funds in 2015/16. We have judiciously and appropriately stayed within the budgeted funds and honoured our sponsorship commitment to the families.
Although the Rajab families are settling well, we at ESG like to go beyond the basics. We believe there is more to do help the parents and children thrive in Canada!
We are asking for your support and financial commitment to cover expenses such as:
- $8,000 Airfare for Oussama and his family. This charge back from the Canadian government did not apply to Mostafa and his family. We do not want to burden the family with this debt.
- Private ESL tutors. At this stage, private Arabic English speaking tutors are particularly effective for the parents, supplementing government programs and talented volunteers.
- A small reserve for dental emergencies not covered by insurance or government programs
- Income supplement as required for job training programs
- Bus passes for the high school kids
- Extra curricular activities for the kids
Please donate online and select “ESG Syrian Refugee” to direct your funds.
Your generosity is so appreciated.
In January 2016 we welcomed Mostafa and Souheila and their four children, followed in October 2016 by Mostafa’s brother and family – Oussama and Sawsan and their four children.
The Rajab families are grateful to be living in Canada and for the generosity and friendship of the ESG community. The families lived in Lebanon for 4+ years in difficult circumstances, including limited education for the children. Their town and home outside Latakia, Syria was bombed and destroyed in the conflict. They deeply grieve for family, neighbours and friends who have died in the ongoing conflict. They miss and worry about their family who remain in Syria and Lebanon, at the same time as embracing the hope of Canada.
Many great things have happened for these families in Canada.
- The two families live in large, bright apartments in the same apartment building in the Lawrence-Midland area, close to, schools and public transportation
- Everyone is in good health, well supported by doctors and dentists
- The eight children are doing well in school. They have benefited from special literacy and education programs designed for kids that have experienced a major gap in their education. The two oldest boys will attend TDSB adult high school this fall to complete the credits needed for their high school diploma. Plans for university or college are being talked about.
- Helping the parents learn English has been a top priority along with seeking employment.
- The parents have attended full-time ESL schools. We have also provided private volunteer and paid tutors
- Mostafa Rajab is employed as a custodian at ESG and continues with private ESL tutoring
- His two oldest sons attend high school and have part time jobs at Paramount Fine Foods
- Oussama Rajab has been accepted into a special four-month Construction Trades Program designed to assist Syrian newcomers to intensively learn English in the context of the workplace and get jobs in construction. Oussama, with 20+ years of construction experience, is an ideal candidate.
- Oussama and Sawsan are expecting a new baby in late March 2018