On October 19th, 2015, while many were intently watching televisions and computer screens or scrolling their devices to find out where Canada’s political compass would point in the 42nd general election, Foundation of Hope’s Grant Selection Committee gathered in a quiet room at QMUNITY to deliberate over the first round of grant applications. The committee consists of FOH Board members Hasan Abdessamad, Catarina Moreno, and Chad Wilkinson alongside community representatives Rojina Farrokhnejad, Kevin Murphy, and Destiny Sharp, whom FOH requested review the applications and provide feedback.
As the Toronto Blue Jays cruised past the Kansas City Royals to pick up a crucial win in the American League Division Series, FOH reviewed four grants worth a combined total of $25,000. Applications valued at $17,500 came through FOH’s sponsorship stream from a different Toronto organization for its mandate to privately sponsor LGBT+ Syrians in collaboration with the Lifeline Syria Project.
Toronto-based Rainbow Railroad plans to organize resettlement teams in concert with Vancouver’s Rainbow Refugee Fund and the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto acting as the sponsorship agreement holder.
Rainbow Railroad’s mission is to help LGBT+ individuals find a safe haven from state-sponsored violence, murder, and persecution. The second element of its combined funding application will provide emergency travel assistance to individuals in high-risk situations to seek immediate asylum from persecution. Individuals will benefit by gaining the necessary pre-travel support, local travel costs, short-term accommodations, passport and visa fees, or any other obligatory costs.
The final grant reviewed by the committee came through the community services stream from M.O.S.A.I.C., a B.C.-based multilingual non-profit organization dedicated to addressing issues that affect refugees in the course of their settlement and integration. M.O.S.A.I.C.’s mandate is to support and empower immigrant and refugee communities, helping to address critical issues in their neighborhoods and workplace. An application valued at $7,500 will provide individual and group counselling support services to LGBT+ newcomers to Canada. The grant targets individuals facing psychological barriers or dealing with lingering stresses associated with traumas experienced while living under persecution.
Foundation of Hope is very proud to approve these applications and looks forward to taking the next steps to administer funds in a timely manner. Organizations that are eligible for funding under our terms and conditions are encouraged to apply.