My name is Sadiq M. Ibrahim. I live in Ottawa with my cat Mickey. I am desperately looking for help to bring to Canada my family who escaped from Afghanistan and are living in New Delhi, India.
The back story of my family:
I am the oldest son of my family. I was an interpreter and a cultural advisor for the Canadian troops in Afghanistan during the war from 2006 to 2010. I was relocated to Canada at the end of 2010 due to the severe threat to my life because I had helped the Canadian troops. My family, consisting of four sisters, one brother and my two parents, were victims of torture and attack in the Taliban’s attempt to locate me. My family fled their home province and went into hiding when they lost protection from the Canadian army, which left Kandahar city in 2011. Since then, I have become a Canadian citizen and graduated with a degree in Engineering from Carleton University, while my family has remained in hiding, and has been forced had to relocate every few months to protect their identity and safety.
My family are strong advocates for women’s education and have received many threats for sending my sisters to school. My sisters were subjected to the daily threat to school girls in the street and bombing of girl-only schools. My oldest two sisters were accepted into Kandahar University to become doctors in our home province (this University is chosen for them based on their marks, and both of my sisters received scholarships). There was only one other female in their year at the University. My family has received several threats for this and were at extreme danger of being recognized as being related to me. My family was forced to flee, and seek refuge in India to protect their lives. My oldest sisters lost their chance to attend medical school and my younger sisters have not been able to attend any school since leaving Afghanistan. I haven’t been seen my family for 10 years, but I have been teaching my sisters English and other subjects over the internet.
Currently my family is living in New Delhi under the protection of UNHCR, and are not refugees yet. It is a very long process with many obstacles along the way. They have no legal standing in India and are therefore not allowed to work, use the banks or to accept money from me at money transfer companies, and none of the children are able to attend any education facilities. Additionally, because they have no legal standing in India, they can be deported at any time and face challenges of persecution upon their arrival in Afghanistan. I have been the main source of financial support for my family for many years, since they are prohibited from earning money.
With the support and guidance of Jewish Family Services, Sadiq has assembled a Sponsorship Group of over 20 people. These people have agreed to provide their time and talents once the family arrives in Ottawa, to help them settle in and learn to live in Canada.
But now we have the huge challenge of raising the funds needed to support the family until they can get on their feet and begin working here. Anglican Archdiocese is a pre-approved Sponsorship Agreement Holder; they are able to designate 100 individuals each year to be reviewed and brought in to Canada. But before they can move forward, we need to raise $70,000 – the amount needed to sponsor a family of 7.