Project Abraham was created in early 2015 to find volunteers and sponsors to re-settle Yezidi refugees from Syria, Turkey, and Iraq in the GTA. We have been working with congregations and community groups in the GTA establishing Refugee Sponsorship Committees of 5 - 8 people. Our facilitating partners are Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) who process immigrants, such as JIAS-Jewish Immigration Aid Service and ORAT from the Catholic Church. In addition, we are raising public awareness of the plight of the Yezidis, raising the necessary funds, assisting with the immigration process for refugees hoping to arrive in the family reunification program, and advocating on behalf of the Yezidis with the Canadian government.
There is still much work to be done in achieving immigration equality for the Yezidi people. Nevertheless, we will work very closely with the Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration on all our refugee cases. Successfully settling a refugee family requires more than a government agency. It also requires committed community participation. The government has worked to reduce wait times for refugees, but we must donate our own time and efforts to make Project Abraham work.
- How much does it cost to sponsor a Yezidi family?
- How can I give financially?
- How long will it take for the refugee family to arrive in Canada?
- Is there more I can do?
- How will you handle the increased volume of refugees through your partnering SAH?
- Do you have a sense that there are really that many Yezidi refugees who want to come to Canada?
- Where will the refugees settle in the GTA? Do you have a place for them?
How much does it cost to sponsor a Yezidi family?
The sponsorship cost per family (2 adults and four children) is approximately $33,000. As the remnants of surviving families come together to form new family units that are quite different from the nuclear family, this cost can vary considerably.
The administrative cost of guiding a family through the immigration process to their successful integration is 15% of that.
Donations can be made through our website donation page via STRIPE and tax receipts can be issued for any amount over $100. To receive a tax receipt, send your mailing address to [email protected]
To donate now click here
Those wishing to support Project Abraham by cheque or credit card can contact Debbie at 905-477-9901 ext 7295. Charitable receipts for these donations will be available.
How long will it take for the refugee family to arrive in Canada?
The average period is likely to be 1 – 2 years but we are hoping the Canadian government will expedite these cases due to the humanitarian crisis.
Successfully settling a refugee family requires more than a government agency. It also requires community support in many ways.
If you wish to be a Project Abraham volunteer, please go to our volunteer page to see the wide variety of ways in which you can participate or contact our Executive Director, Debbie Rose at [email protected]
How will you handle the increased volume of refugees through your partnering SAH?
A SAH is a federally-approved organization, called a Sponsorship Agreement Holder. A SAH is legally mandated to process refugees from their situation abroad, through their immigration to Canada and during their first year in the country. We work with both Jewish Immigration Aid Services (JIAS) and the Office of Refugees Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT) - a leader in resettling minorities from Iraq. ORAT is committed to provide any additional training, expertise and advice to our volunteer coordinators and committees so that the community can share this responsibility of bringing persecuted Yezidi to a safe haven in the GTA.
In addition, we work closely with the Richmond Hill Welcome Centre and COSTI in order to ensure that all refugees have access to the many resources available to them. Training programs are also offered to volunteers who are working with traumatized refugees.
Do you have a sense that there are really that many Yezidi refugees who want to come to Canada?
There at least three to four hundred thousand Yezidi in Syria and Iraq who would come to Canada at a moment's notice. They have lost everything. Their men and boys have been slaughtered by ISIS and thousands of their women and girls abducted into sexual slavery. Their towns have been decimated and current political realities prevent them from rebuilding their homes and lives.
Yezidis are often victims of hostile groups in the refugee camps themselves.
Where will the refugees settle in the GTA? Do you have a place for them?
Resettlement Groups are set up to take care of all the needs of the refugees once they arrive, including finding housing for them.
If you would like to be part of a resettlement group, or to form your own resettlement group with friends, family, or your community, please contact our please contact our Executive Director, Debbie Rose at [email protected]