AMPD for Syria initiative will welcome a refugee family to our community

December 16, 2015

AMPD for Syria initiative will welcome a refugee family to our community

The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design is participating in the Lifeline Syria Challenge, joining with generous and compassionate colleagues from across York University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto and OCAD University in response to the current refugee crisis resulting from the war in Syria.

Photo courtesy of Lifeline Syria

Photo courtesy of Lifeline Syria

During this time of humanitarian crisis twelve million people – half of the country’s population – are displaced and homeless. Four million of those live in exile beyond Syria’s borders.

Naming their team AMPD For Syria, staff, students and faculty are coming together to sponsor a family of four to resettle in GTA.

While team recruitment is ongoing, the committee includes: (listed in alphabetical order) theatre Professor Elizabeth Asselstine; visual art and art history student Nedda Baba; Ryan Bouchard, advising coordinator for the Faculty of Health; Robin Fribance, assistant dean, Strategic Communications, Marketing and Enrolment Management in AMPD; theatre and political science student Ragda Habbal, vice-president of Amnesty International at York; theatre Professor Peter McKinnon, the master of Winters College; Flannery Muise, student programs assistant in the Department of Dance; AMPD publicist Amy Stewart; and Vicki Tran, administrative support for the Digital Media Program in AMPD.

First, the team must raise a minimum of $27,000, which is the amount the federal government advises is required to resettle a family of four.

If every student, faculty and staff member in the AMPD community contributed $8 – the cost of a lunch – the financial goal would be met.

Photo courtesy of Lifeline Syria

Photo courtesy of Lifeline Syria

Donating is easy. All donations over $20 receive a tax receipt from Ryerson (which is hosting the Lifeline Syria Challenge and administering the funds). All funds raised will go directly toward resettling the family.

Click here to be directed to the Ryerson Lifeline Syria donation portal. Please select AMPD for Syria in the first drop-down menu, titled ‘Select a designation for your gift’. AMPD for Syria is listed under the York University teams near the bottom of the list.

The second element of the sponsorship will include coordinating the necessary volunteer support for establishing the family in Canada. This includes assisting with finding housing, enrolling children in school, opening bank accounts, finding a local doctor, registering in English classes and more.

“This is such an amazing opportunity to make a positive impact,” said Stewart. “When I hear news about the conflicts in our world, I often feel powerless to do anything about it. Simultaneously I recognize what a wonderful life I have in Canada.

“The Lifeline Syria Challenge has been such an inspiration. This opportunity to give both money and time, while making connections with students and my colleagues and together welcome a family into our community and our lives – it is empowering in a really profound way.”

Email syriampd@yorku.ca for more information or to join the team.