The Nova Scotia Syrian Society has created a GoFundMe page to raise money to help members of its communities start businesses, maintain weekend school programming and help with personal emergencies.
The society was founded by Loai Al Rafai after he came to Halifax with his family in 2016.
The Syrian doctor, his wife and two young children had spent three years in Jordan after fleeing the civil war in Syria before coming to Canada. The society now has 50 member families and runs a weekend school for youth to foster language development, computer literacy and help them adapt to Canadian society while learning about their culture.
The fundraising campaign is titled Not Just A Refugee because it’s about assisting Syrian newcomers in becoming contributing members of the Nova Scotian economy and their local communities.
“We want to support our Syrian families so that they can be useful in this city and rebuild their lives here,” said Al Rafai.
As of Tuesday afternoon the GoFundMe page had raised $700 toward its $50,000 goal.
Al Rafai said beyond investing in supplies for the school the group wants to be able provide micro-loans to its members so that they can start small businesses. The society is registered in Nova Scotia and has a board of directors that approves all its financial decisions.
The fundraising website can be viewed here: https://www.gofundme.com/novascotiasyriansociety