My name is Shogofa; I am a 21-year-old college student at the University of British Columbia. I am a Hazara from Afghanistan, and I left Afghanistan as an unaccompanied minor when I was 16 to come to the U.S. and later to Canada. Currently, I live in Vancouver, B.C., as a Canadian Permanent Resident, where I moved in 2017.
The current Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan has displaced and forced thousands of families to flee for safety, leaving their homes and all of their belongings behind, including my family. My family consists of my mom, my dad, and my five minor siblings, who made the 15-hour journey to the Spin-Buldak border, Kandahar province in a tiny car with many Taliban checkpoints on their way and then crossed the land border by foot in Pakistan. They are currently in Pakistan, where they have been living as refugees since August 2021 with little to no support and with the daily fear of getting deported back to Afghanistan while waiting to get resettled in Canada through the Sponsorship Agreement Holder Program (SAH).
My family's safety is my top priority so I have taken time off from school this year to solely focus on the resettlement process of my family and help them get to safety. Fortunately, after weeks of many sleepless nights, phone calls, and reaching out to sponsorship organizations, and refugee advocates, I have been able to find a SAH Organization that have agreed to undertake the sponsorship of my family in 2022, as long as I show proof of funds to cover the first year of living expenses and a Constituent Group that could provide settlement support once my family arrives in Canada.
Pastor Kristina Breit from St. Mark's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Vancouver has kindly agreed to be the Constinutent Group and is willing to put their time and effort into bringing and providing support for my family in partnership with the SAH organization. While I meet all the other requirements to sponsor my family, their resettlement and hopes of getting to safety in Canada without the sponsorship funds ($60,000) would be impossible.
Before submitting the application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), I need to show the Canadian government that I have the funds placed in a trust account to help my family’s first year of life in Canada. To expedite the resettlement process of my family and ensure that I can submit my family’s sponsorship application in March 2022, I need to raise funds by December 30, 2021. In case the sponsorship funds are not raised by December 30, the chances of ensuring that the Sponsorship Agreement Holder Organization takes on the sponsorship of my family will decrease because an important part of the sponsorship process is to show the IRCC that I have the funds to support my family in their first year of settlement in Canada.
As a college student myself, I do not have the financial means to make the $60,000 for the sponsorship of my family. While I have taken time off from school to focus on the resettlement process, making the $60,000 sponsorship money in the short period I have left is unattainable. Therefore, I have created this fundraising effort to help with the sponsorship of my family in Canada. Once the money is raised, the funds will be transferred to a trust account, which remains as required by IRCC until my family arrives in Canada. The money, then, will be used towards my family’s first year of living expenses. If we get 60 people to donate $1000, Or 120 people to donate $500, Or 600 people to donate $100, or 6000 people to donate $10, our goal of $60,000 is met, but any amount of donations will be greatly appreciated as it could bring me closer to my goal of $60,000.
While I have spent the past six years away from my family, missing out on family celebrations, and worried about the safety of my family with your donations, my family and I could be reunited. So thank you very much for your donations, I am eternally grateful. Canada became a home for me, a place where I saw the prospects of having a better future for myself, and I hope that it becomes a home for my family as well.
Please share this with your friends, family, and community.
The Sponsorship costs include start-up costs and monthly costs.
Start-up costs include, but are not limited to:
one-time payment for household items
Flight to Canada
Monthly costs include:
food and incidentals
monthly public transportation passes
Please refer Here for a detailed breakdown of how the funds will be used. Pastor Kristina Breit has kindly done the sponsorship costs calculation. If you have any questions regarding the fundraising, please do not hesitate to contact Pastor Breit [email protected] or Shogofa Alizada [email protected]
Note: In case my family for any reason can not resettle to Canada or another third safe country, your donations will be used towards sponsoring another refugee family in need of resettlement in Canada.
To know more about my family and their journey to Pakistan, please read this write up and watch my interview with Dave Lee and Warren Redlich. In mid-august, I reached out to Dave on Twitter, who helped my friends and I get our families out of Afghanistan.
Thank you very much for all of your donations and for sharing this with your family, friends, and community. I am eternally grateful.