In December 2016, Houston Today reported on a group in Houston that has been working to help support Syrian refugees in need.
The project started two years ago in December 2015 where Houston Group to Sponsor Syrian Refugees (HGSSR) members discussed sponsoring strategies and fundraising options.
“The community of Houston showed great generosity as individuals and businesses donated a total of $38,598 to the cause,” said Marnie MacLeod, member of the group.
Donations were received from Dungate Community Forests, Bulkley Valley Credit Union, and other corporate sponsors.
Initially the group wanted to support a young widow and her two children.
“Ramia, to whom we were connected by a Syrian family here in the Bulkley Valley, experience an unsuccessful attempt to leave her country,” said MacLeod.
Ramia has decided to remain in Syria, and from there HGSSR continued their pursuit to find other programs that would support their goals to help out refugees.
MacLeod said, “Another major set-back was when the Canadian Government had reached its target goal of sponsoring 25,000 refugees. The process then became very complicated with promises of receiving lists of needy families never materializing.”
As the process dragged on, MacLeod said the group decided that it would be better to make the money available to help Syrian refugees in countries that are currently giving refuge to them.
“We are excited that those funds will now be used by the United Nations Refugee Agency to assist in their ‘Donation for Transformation Initiative’ program,” said MacLeod. ”This program offers monthly support to Syrian Refugee families who are living in very desperate situations.”
The program uses an iris scan ATM system where refugees will withdraw money for to support themselves and their families needs, whether it is medical, rent, food, transporation, clothing, etc.