Peterborough, Ontario –November 23, 2016: Safe Haven for Refugees Peterborough is excited to announce plans to sponsor 13 new Syrian refugees in order to reunite with family already living in Peterborough.

This year has been an even more dangerous time in Syria and the Middle East than ever. Described by the United Nations as a “refugee crisis like we have never seen before,” hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed and millions of families have fled into adjoining countries, waiting in limbo and fear until they are welcomed into a new homeland.

“On December 24, 2015, the Safe Haven for Refugees Peterborough was honoured to learn we would have that opportunity to welcome one of these families, the Alftihs, to our community,” says Chantilly McKinnon, committee member. “The Alftih family – Mohamed, Randa, Karim, Omar, Ghaith, and Sham – have experienced much love and kindness since arriving in Peterborough. We are also thrilled to see Casa Maria welcome Mohamed’s sister, her son and grandchildren to our community. Yet, Randa’s family, including her mother, sisters and their children, whose home in Aleppo was completely destroyed by bombing this year, had to separate and flee to Lebanon.”

Winter holidays are a time of family reuniting for celebration. Safe Haven for Refugees Peterborough has partnered with Grace United Church in raising funds for this additional sponsorship to put the safety of these families as a collective goal. “We cannot think of a better way to truly honour our own families than by helping this family in reunification. As a partnership, our organizations have committed to bringing to the Peterborough area 13 members of Randa’s family. We have already raised over $100,000 towards the sponsorship, but need to raise an additional $30,000 in air flight and settlement costs for all family members. If we can raise this funding, we may be able to celebrate this success in 2017!”

Safe Haven and Grace United invite the whole community to join us by donating to the Safe Haven for Refugees fund at Grace United Church or to Grace United Church (Safe Haven fund) through Visit for more information.


For media interviews and more information about the campaign,
contact Karen Hjort-Jensen at Karen Hjort Jensen’s Email Address

Safe Haven for Refugees Peterborough
c/o Grace United Church
581 Howden Street Peterborough, ON K9J 4B4,

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