Updates on

Update posted by Team Catalyst5 On May 03, 2019

Dear Donor,

You’re receiving this because In early ** 2017 ** you donated between $20-$100 to a private refugee sponsorship effort. For a refresher on the original campaign, go back to our original fundraising page (but don’t donate!!) here: https://gogetfunding.com/private-refugee-sponsorship-lets-bring-mustafa-to-toronto/

What I can tell you is:

• We cannot use your donations - total $3,061 for the purpose originally intended. See explanation below.

• As of last year, Mustafa was moving to a less dangerous situation, but not to Canada. He appreciated our support, but declined to receive or direct the funds.

• I’m giving the money to PEN Canada https://pencanada.ca/ as a related charity.

*** If you’d rather get your money back (minus fees) just send me a message by, say, July 1, 2019 via CATALYST 5 = the purple heart-shaped handshake in the right side of the campaign page****

We couldn’t sponsor Mustafa to Canada as a refugee. It took a long time but qualified authorities have verified that we were defeated by politics and definitions:

• Syrian refugees in Turkey were not legally considered “refugees", but rather “guests.” For this reason, Syrians could not access any services deemed specific to refugees, like registering with UNHCR for relocation.

• The Canadian Private Sponsorship program (under which we had constituted ourselves) applies to people recognised as “refugees” by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) (as bolded halfway down the program’s description here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/refugees/help-outside-canada/private-sponsorship-program/groups-five.html .

• Alternative frameworks for supporting Mustafa hinged on the same definitional obstacle.

In truth, we learned this a while ago, and then we just didn’t know what to do. The money isn’t doing any good sitting in my bank account, so I’m giving it to https://pencanada.ca/ in my best effort - albeit substantially delayed - to serve the purpose of the funds raised within this situation and our abilities.

Warm regards,


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Update posted by Team Catalyst On Feb 07, 2017

Thank you to all who have contributed and shared this page. The response from friends, neighbours, and many people we don't even know has been heartwarming. There has even been a write-up in a popular English-language blog on Arab literature, arablit.org!


As supporters of this effort, please continue sharing (on social media, in personal emails, etc).

Every time we see a new backer listed, we are reminded that humanity is at its best when we strive to help one another.

Thank you,

Catalyst5 (Mark Clamen)

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