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Group raises $35K and counting to bring Syrian refugee family to Victoria

Victoria Shows Love is now looking to raise another $30,000

A group of friends in Greater Victoria is working to support a Syrian refugee family’s journey to join their sister in B.C.’s capital city.

Sasha Dani lives in Victoria, and her brother and his family were forced to leave Syria because of the civil war that started in 2011. They escaped to the neighbouring country of Lebanon, where they are undocumented asylum seekers.

Dani and the private group calling themselves Victoria Shows Love have raised over $35,000 for the refugee family.

The group’s first fundraiser hosted traditional Syrian music, poetry and food at the Fernwood Community Centre on Nov. 4.

“Support from the local business community was amazing,” Victoria Shows Love member Susan Tychie said. “It was a sold-out crowd. There were many people beyond our small core group that helped in this endeavour, and we raised over $5000.”

Victoria Shows Love then put on a screening of the award winning documentary Bigger Than Us on Nov. 24 at Vic Theatre. The effort raised $30,000 as everyone from volunteers to larger donors reached into their pockets.

“We made some amazing connections with generous donors,” Tychie added. “Our larger donors contacted their friends and neighbours to help us. We called in our angels.”

The group then helped the family prepare visa applications.

“When the application was submitted, there were tears of joy in Lebanon,” Tychie said. “Even though they knew the wait might be long, they had hope that someone on the other side was working for them. This makes it all worthwhile.”

Victoria Shows Love knows it may take around three years before the family arrives in the B.C. capital, but they are hopeful that they will be able to come sooner.

The group is now looking to raise another $30,000 to help the family during its first year in Victoria. The next fundraiser is a benefit concert and silent auction on March 3 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Philip Anglican Church. The show will feature music by West My Friend, Habbous and Jordie, Sari Alesh, and the Island Song Choir. Tickets can be found at

“Victoria is indeed showing the love as our musicians and artists have all donated their talents to this evening of music and giving,” Tychie added.

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Brendan Mayer

About the Author: Brendan Mayer

I spent my upbringing in Saskatoon, and in 2021, I made the move to Vancouver Island.
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