“The couple Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian had just finalised their wedding plans before they began to reconsider…”
In September, like they rest of the world, the couple were hit with the distressing image of 3 year old Alan Kurdi, a Syrian boy who had drowned when he and his family had attempted to cross from Turkey to the Greek Island, Kos, on a frail boat that struggled to carry them. Amid the refugee crisis, the couple had second thoughts about their extravagant wedding and selflessly cancelled in an urge to help those in dire need.
Their plan was to spend their wedding fund helping refugees by transforming their ceremony into a fundraiser, inviting their friends and family to donate. They started their new life together by helping a Syrian family start theirs in Toronto. In October they were joined in matrimony in Toronto City Hall and after encouraged their guests to donate to Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge. The organisation works together with local people in Toronto to resettle Syrian refugees in Canada. Locals act as private sponsors and help with responsibilities to set up a new, sustainable life for families such as finding housing, employment and schooling.
Upon cancelling their reservation for the chosen venue, they received a refund which was donated directly to the project. The couple asked for donations instead of gifts, desperate to reach their target of $27,000. The bride has been working with the initiative since June and has so far raised $17,500 to this magnificent cause.