To our dear friends in humanity,

Our names are Aarefah, Sayedah, and Tony. We are raising funds for my friend, and Tony’s significant other (A.A) who is a Syrian refugee and is in need of funding to be resettled to Canada with Tony. Neither they nor their loved one can afford the costs of resettlement, so we’re reaching out to you for aid. $4200 (USD) is urgently needed to aid our friend who is currently stranded in a refugee camp in Italy. They are a member of the LGBTQIA community, and they are now in the process of resettlement to Canada with the aid of the Canadian firm, My Visa Source. All $4200 must be and will be sent to the Canadian firm, My Visa Source, in order for them to proceed with resettlement. Any funds raised over the amount of $4,200 will be given to Tony and his loved one to begin their new lives together. Once the necessary funds are raised, I will post the transfer of funds to My Visa Source for everyone’s viewing.

Below includes a description of the circumstances my friend desperately fled to escape from (Syria, Lebanon, and now Italy) and the conditions they currently live in.

Civilians do not choose war, but they are forced to suffer it. As you know, Syria has been in turmoil for nearly a decade. The civil and international war has ravaged the country and has left over half a million slain, millions of its civilians internally displaced, and millions of others fleeing to find safety. While many of our world’s governments have failed to lead by abandoning refugees, we call upon you to join us in reclaiming the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for our equals in humanity.

The journey refugees suffer to rebuild their lives from the ravages of war is long and arduous. It is another injustice that no man, woman, or child should have to endure. We have launched this fundraiser in an effort to augment humanitarian aid to refugees in need. Refugees continue to suffer uninhabitable conditions in refugee camps across the world; some countries that have opened their doors to refugees are under the strain of economic, social, and political crises that are threatening the states’ stability along with the lives of nationals and refugees within them. The few countries that have currently taken Syrian refugees include Iraqi Kurdistan, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Italy, Greece, and Australia.

According to the UNHCR, approximately 251,157 Syrian refugees reside in Iraq, with 97% living in refugee camps in the Kurdistan region. While coalition forces recently declared a “victory” against ISIL in Mosul, refugees are still in dire need of clothing, adequate shelter, food, hygienic supplies, legal assistance, access to electricity, potable water, mental health and medical aid to treat the wounded and sick. In addition, aid is needed to help fund childrens’ education in these camps. LGBTQIA refugees face the life-threatening challenge of homophobic persecution in a country where homosexuality is criminalized. At the United Nations, Iraq recently refused to vote against the death penalty to punish its own citizens for being gay.

The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that Egypt houses approximately 137,000 Syrian refugees. While Egypt has integrated Syrian refugees into their own communities, the addition of refugees has strained resources in a country that is still attempting to rebuild itself following revolutionary uprisings and political instability that had threatened the state’s collapse in the last 7 years. The WHO observes that the medical needs of refugees in Egypt have yet to be fulfilled as many continue to suffer from chronic illnesses and debilitating health issues, including psychological trauma.

Turkey is recorded as hosting more refugees than any other country in the entire world with over 3.5 million Syrian refugees; however, the continued influx of refugees is beginning to strain the government’s resources. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to return refugees to Syria. While some sources report that some Syrian refugees have already been “voluntarily resettled” in northern Syria, their safety cannot be guaranteed in a country that continues to be marred by conflict. In addition, LGBTQIA refugee communities face unique, life-threatening challenges in Turkey, where LGBTQIA communities face persecution. LGBTQIA refugees struggle to find employment in Turkey, where many have resorted to sex work to sustain themselves. Funds are especially needed to help resettle members of the persecuted LGBTQIA community where homosexuality remains criminalized in Syria, too. The continued influx of refugees is also creating tensions within the Turkish national demographic, where the desirability of taking in Syrian refugees is declining. Growing resentment towards refugees diminishes the standard of living for refugees and further places them at an increased risk of neglect, persecution, and violence.

Lebanon currently contains over 1.5 million Syrian refugees. Lebanon has been cited by non-governmental organizations for various human rights abuses against Syrian refugees. The country has been under fire for evicting thousands of refugees from their homes on discriminatory bases. Some have been evicted because of their nationality, while others have been evicted because of their religion. In addition, Lebanon has been cited for rights abuses against the LGBTQIA community. Funding is needed to assist in resettling refugees who currently reside in Lebanon.

Italy’s political climate has swung to the far right, and migrants and refugees have been targeted by its regime and its supporters. Italy’s government has obstructed humanitarian aid to refugees currently living in their camps and has vowed to remove its refugee population. It has recently garnered international criticism for closing ports that are needed for the transportation of humanitarian aid that is vital to refugees. Support for refugees has also been criminalized. Italian law enforcement arrested a public official who expressed support for migrants and refugees on accusations of “aiding illegal migration.” Violence against refugees in Italy has continued in the country without consequence for perpetrators. LGBTQIA refugees suffer discriminatory treatment in Italy as well: the country refuses to grant marriage licenses to LGBTQIA individuals, including refugees.

Greece has garnered notoriety for the squalid conditions in which refugees continue to suffer. In order to stop the influx of refugees, Greece has been accused of deliberately forcing refugees to live in uninhabitable conditions. In August 2018, the BBC investigated the conditions of the Moria camp in Greece, where they reported “deadly violence, overcrowding, appalling sanitary conditions, and…children as young as ten who are attempting to commit suicide.” Deadly unchecked violence has previously erupted between Arab and Kurdish refugees at Moria, forcing others to again flee for their lives. The camp is only meant for 2,000 people, but four times as many are currently crammed there.

Australia has forced asylum seekers and refugees into offshore detention centers, where children have also attempted suicide according to the United Nations. In October 2018, Australia was accused of deporting a doctor who was caring for asylum seekers at the detention center on the island of Nauru, where asylum seekers are suffering from life-threatening health issues and are receiving inadequate medical care. According to CNN, the doctor photographed a little girl who was dying in the facility and was subsequently arrested and deported by Australian officials. In December 2015, The Independent reported that 600 Syrian refugees of Papua New Guinea and Manus Island demanded assisted suicide because of the uninhabitable conditions the Australian government was forcing them to suffer.

While generous organizations do exist to provide funding for refugees at refugee camps, more still needs to be done to resettle refugees away from those conditions. Please, help reclaim the promise of hope for refugees like my friend. Any amount will help save a life.

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