Rainbow Connection for Refugee Women
“We came together three years ago, as a group of people wanting to make a difference in the fight for human rights for LGBTQ+ womxn refugees. Some of us had previously been involved in doing refugee work, but we were united by our gratitude for living in Canada. We were all aware of the life and death situations faced by many LGBTQ+ people in different countries around the world, where their lives are at risk simply because of who they are. Protections and freedoms to be themselves simply don’t exist where they live.
Our task, at first, seemed daunting – fundraising $36,000 for financial support and providing other supports for a lesbian refugee couple for their first year in Canada. However, the more we talked, the more we realized – that while we couldn’t help all the LGBTQ+ refugees in the world, our work could give the opportunity to one couple to change their whole world. Without our collective work, the hope, opportunity and right to be their authentic selves – that we all enjoy – might never come.
It’s been a wonderful experience to be a part of this amazing team of committed people. I’m happy to report we succeeded in raising the funds needed and were thrilled to welcome a young couple in September 2020, before the 2nd wave of COVID-19. The two individuals are strong, resilient, and settling well into life in Canada. We have no doubt they will contribute a lot to our country, and they also hope, someday, they too will sponsor LGBTQ+ refugees needing to flee to freedom in Canada.
While the couple arrived in Toronto during very strange times, I knew – as did all the members of our team – that we had made a life changing difference.”
– Bev Wybrow, Member of Rainbow Connection for Refugee Women
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