Safe Haven for Refugees to Bring Syrian Family to Peterborough

Safe Haven for Refugees, Peterborough is a recently formed group of sixteen local citizens who have banded together to help sponsor a Syrian refugee family to resettle in our city. The ongoing refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa has left many of us across the world wondering what we can do and how we can help. Our group initially met to explore exactly this dilemma.

Asking ourselves, can we possibly make a difference, we found the answer was YES! By helping just one family escape the horrors of civil war, we can make a difference. We formed a Constituency Group and with the help of New Canadian Centre and Casa Maria Refugee Homes, who have been sponsoring refugees to this area for over 22 years, we have applied to sponsor a family from Aleppo, Syria.   The family fled their home in Syria after their clothing business and livelihood was destroyed in the civil war. They have been living in Lebanon for the past several months. In Lebanon the parents are not allowed to work and their children have no opportunities to attend school. As a result they are feeling very unwelcome and are quickly running out of what savings they had managed to bring with them.

The Federal Government suggests it could cost as much as $40,000 (including airfare) for a family of six to resettle in Canada. As sponsors, our role is to provide financial and emotional support during the first year while the family rebuilds their life in Canada. Like most refugee families, this family will arrive at the airport with only a few small and precious belongings. Therefore our first task is to raise funds to provide the family with the things that most of us take for granted, including housing, heat & electricity, home furnishings, clothing, and food for one year, in addition to costs incurred during the application process (medical exams, flights to Canada, etc.).

With the help of donors form this community we will be welcoming the parents and their four beautiful children a little girl, 3 and her three brothers, 8,12, and16 years old. We have partnered with Grace United Church, a registered charity, to provide donors with tax receipts (for donations over $25) for their generous contributions. We will also be seeking donations of household goods and clothing from the community.   Donations can be made by mail with cheques made out to Grace United Church, 581 Howden Street Peterborough, K9J 4B4. (please put “Safe Haven” on the memo line), or online by visiting and clicking on the Donate button.

Safe Haven for Refugees is an all volunteer organization. All proceeds will go directly to support the family. 

For more information visit our website or Facebook page (links above) or phone Chantilly McKinnon at: 705-768-8182 or email

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