With hopes of providing a better life for a Syrian refugee family, Qualicum Beach resident Jada Morgan is seeking the public’s help to bring a mother, father and five children to the oceanside community.
In July, Morgan was struck with an intense desire to “help the children of Lebanon” and so set off on a three-month trip to the Middle Eastern country where her journey took on a life of its own.
She didn’t have a set plan or itinerary for her trip, but Morgan knew she wanted to help children in one way or another. While she was going back and forth with the ideas of possibly helping orphans or volunteering at a kindergarten that was being built, her purpose became clear.
“I had this dream, there were soldiers walking the road and telling me to turn around,” Morgan said. “I woke up and this voice was saying, ‘the children of Lebanon are in Beirut.’”
Next, Morgan picked up a newspaper and saw an advertisement for an apartment for rent in Beirut. She immediately went and viewed the accommodation where she would stay for the remainder of her trip.
Morgan, a retired social worker, said several children lived near her new apartment, who would sneak in through a gate to play in a parking area.
“There’s nowhere to play in Beirut for children, there’s no parks, there’s no sidewalks, there’s traffic everywhere that does not drive slowly… it’s really sad,” Morgan said. “This building had a gate and a parking area and so the kids were constantly trying to get in because it was somewhere to play and the concierge was constantly trying to push them out.”
It wasn’t long before Morgan became close to the children and their families, teaching them numbers, buying them toys and even starting night classes three to four times a week.
“There was one family in particular, I started having dinner with them every night spending my evenings with them,”Morgan said. “There were five children in that family.”
Morgan said the family lived in a small, two-bedroom home and were Syrian refugees. The children in the family are between the ages of four and 15 and Morgan says are all generous and hard-working people.
“Their home was destroyed in Syria, there’s nothing left,” Morgan said. “Nobody is forcing Syrians in Lebanon back to Syria as of yet because the war isn’t fully over.”
After spending three months getting to know the family, Morgan realized she had helped all she could from Lebanon and if she really wanted to support them she would have to return to Canada. By March of 2019, Morgan needs to form a core group of at least five or six people who are dedicated to volunteering their time and energy to fundraise $16,250—half of what’s needed to to begin the process of preparing the family to come to Canada.
“I have arranged with the Anglican Church, to have the sponsorship handled through their organization,” Morgan said. “The sponsorship group would be responsible for spearheading the fundraising for the family and helping them to settle once they reach Canadian soil. Some of these duties would include, housing, language barriers, furnishings, food, transportation, clothing, legal paperwork, health and banking and Canadian culture.”
Those interested in becoming a part of the core group can contact Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-951-2606.
“March is when the Anglican Church would begin the process of preparing the family to travel to Canada from Lebanon,” Morgan said.
“Becoming a member of a sponsorship is about a three year commitment. It generally takes up to two years to get a family onto Canadian soil, and then the year of settlement begins.”
Anyone interested in making a donation, can make cheques payable to: St. Philip by the Sea Anglican Church, attention Tony Davis
7113 Lantzville Rd., Lantzville BC, V0R 2H0, or call Morgan to pick up the donation. Or visit https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/st-philip-by-the-sea-anglican-church/ and click Al Hussein (children of Lebanon) SG in the drop-down menu.