Walk Like a Refugee
$16,160 raised
129% of $12.5k goal
76 contributors
186 Days running

Guess what time it is! Time for Walk Like a Refugee, 2019 y'all!

On June 3, 2019, our family will walk approximately 135 km from Toronto to Niagara Falls. This is our third annual walk to raise funds for refugee causes.

This year we are walking for the Lost Boys of Manus Island. These include refugees that have sponsor groups waiting to welcome them to Toronto. But we are also walking for ALL the Lost Boys of Manus, to bring attention to their plight, so the world doesn’t forget them.

The concept is simple: we put on some comfortable shoes and go for a long walk. You donate money to encourage us and that we put towards helping a few of the world’s more than 22 million refugees and 65 million displaced people.

  

The Lost Boys of Manus Island

For the past six years, hundreds of men have been living in various states of detention on Manus Island and in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

They left their homes in search of safety, and instead of finding welcome they were imprisoned by the Australian government, sent to nearby islands for “off shore processing.” Six years later Australia and PNG have closed the Manus centre, but continue to refuse to take responsibility for these men, who live in deplorable conditions, in detention or semi detention, in fear of the violent locals, and without adequate food, provisions, and access to medical care. Most cannot work or find jobs, and they have nowhere to go and no recourse.

The Australian government is washing its hands of them, while they still have nowhere to go. And the world is still largely unaware of their existence.

Among these men is Vahid*, an Iranian man who suffered torture and persecution and left home in search of a better life. Like all the men on Manus, he is living in horrible conditions and has suffered more than anyone should. 

Vahid (30s) was an IT supervisor at a university. He was detained, beaten and tortured for the crime of refusing to install listening devices and record conversations of colleagues, which he knew would endanger their lives. Vahid says, "After the police beat me, they told me that they could always find me and kill me if I didn't do what they said." So he fled Iran to save his life.

Vahid and all the men of Manus Island thought they were heading to safety. Instead they were imprisoned and now find themselves being used as political pawns by the Australian government, caught between dangerous and untenable situations.

 

We can change that. YOU can change that.

Funds raised from this year’s Walk Like a Refugee will be distributed as needed towards the application and settlement in Toronto of Vahid and, should we raise beyond his needs, another Manus sponsorship we're working on. Funds have already been partially raised for Vahid, and we are raising what is needed to complete the process.

Each application requires $16,500 to be raised before filing. Your donation will contribute to Vahid's living expenses for the first year in Toronto. These include:

  • Shelter
  • Food
  • Startup costs
  • Furniture
  • Clothing

Funds raised in excess of what is reasonably required for Vahid to live in Toronto for 12 months will go to another sponsorship organized by us or Stephen Watt, a passionate volunteer and humanitarian who has helped raise over $200,000 to privately sponsor over 20 displaced individuals and six families to come to Canada. Stephen was also instrumental in helping to bring Hassan Al Kontar (the airport guy) and 12 other refugees to Whistler BC. (If something magic happens and we raise beyond even THAT, we will put those toward yet another sponsorship.)

 

*Not his real name. 

 

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