Now is the time to give

The news out of Syrian cities and towns continues to shock and sadden, with an estimated 13.5 million people, including 6 million children, in need of emergency relief. In the midst of the ongoing violence that has raged for nearly six years, humanitarian agencies are struggling to provide emergency aid to the continuous needs of at risk people.

What we’re doing:

The large population of Syrians who fled for their lives are now refugees scattered far from home, trying to stay alive. During these cold winter months, there is danger that the refugees may succumb to the cold and malnourishment.

IDRF has been helping provide vitally needed winter clothing and fuel for cooking to residents of Lebanon settlements. We have also been providing mental health support for Syrian refugee children who have witnessed and are still experiencing psychological traumas.

What you can do:

IDRF’s two events, Spread the Warmth and Skate 4 Syria, are dedicated to providing substantial relief to Syrian refugees.

  • The Spread the warmth event on December 31st is a fitting way to give back to vulnerable people in need this holiday season. Join us as we distribute vitally needed warm winter clothing and fuel supplies for vulnerable people in Lebanon settlements and to homeless people in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • Our Skate4Syria event on February 11th will be a fun filled evening of skating, hot chocolate and baked goods to help us raise money vulnerable Syrians in need. All proceeds from this event will go towards providing refugee children with ongoing mental health support in the form of music, play, and drama therapy; as well, their caregivers will receive training to improve their abilities to support at risk children with mental health needs. These services will then help Syrian refugee children begin to heal from traumas that they have suffered.

Help us to provide warmth, food and mental health counselling to the most vulnerable people in the world.

Successful Dignity Tour event in Calgary

IDRF would like to take this opportunity to thank the IDRF Calgary Youth chapter under the leadership of Aaisha Rahman, and with the support of the IDRF Calgary Board Chair Dr. Rahman, for leading the way in making our Dignity Mixer in Calgary a success! What a great turn out. With over 150 young professionals in the room, the Kanahoff Centre was filled with compassion, excitement and commitment to support those in need. In particular we were excited to hear from our inspiring speakers Collete DeJordy, Rashmeet Dhillon and Ashley Lamantia speak about the impact of Mental Health on individuals and children. We were also honoured to have the Abara family ( a Syrian family that has resettled in Canada) attend and say a few words about their journey. The crowd was engaged and very inspired to support IDRF’s programs, thanks to Kohawar Khan for emceeing the event! Collectively the attendees did not just learn about IDRF but they also donated generously towards the Spread the Warmth Winter Campaign which aims to provide life essentials to refugees living in camps in Lebanon and in Gaza. All in all it was a great event and we look forward to hosting the Dignity Walk in Calgary in early May 2017! For details and to register for the walk visit

Annual General Meeting 2016

Big things are coming: Recap from our 2016 AGM

On November 6th, IDRF convened for its 32nd Annual General Meeting where board members, staff and volunteers discussed the year’s achievements, hopes and challenges.

Our dedicated and engaged board members nominated and elected a new slate of board members, including our new board member, Mina Silarti, a distinguished philanthropist.

The event also went over the financial statements from the past year and we were pleased to note that IDRF is experiencing another year of good financial health, in large part to the exceptional fiscal stewardship of our board and staff.

IDRF staff also provided presentations from our programs, communications and fundraising teams that discussed all of the exciting things we are planning, including our Dignity Tour events, Winterization and Girls of East Africa campaigns. These campaigns and events are designed to raise critical funds for winter supplies, water and agricultural resources for the people of Gaza and East African region, respectively.

We sincerely thank all of our board members, IDRF members, staff and especially our donors for attending and supporting IDRF. We look forward to next year’s AGM where we will be able to provide another update on our efforts to provide health, hope and dignity to vulnerable people at home and abroad.


Learn more about IDRF in our Annual Report 2016


IDRF Gala 2016

At IDRF, we are blessed to have very generous donors; you support our programs and events and enable us to help some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

Last Friday, we launched celebrations of Canada’s upcoming Sesquicentennial by hosting a very successful sold-out Annual Gala. The lineup for our elegant soiree featured our key speaker, Susan Aglukark, Inuk singer / songwriter and social activist, who dazzled us with her amazing presentation about the life, challenges and hopes of our Northern communities.

The Emcee of the night, Mark Strong, well known for hosting the Junos, regaled us with his wit and humour and skillfully kept the event moving and our guests entertained. As part of the celebrations, four outstanding Canadians were given awards for their exceptional contributions to humanitarian causes at home and abroad.

Through the generous support of our sponsors and guests for this great night, many needy people in developing countries will be able to live more purposeful, dignified lives by having greater access to water, education and healthcare.

More photos from: The Gala 2016, Media wall


IDRF Dignity Walk

Today we celebrate International #PeaceDay!

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr. “Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal.”

We at IDRF believe that peace can only be achieved when everyone can live with #dignity.


Dignity means:

  • Women can access clean water without risking their lives and walking for miles
  • Hearing-impaired youth can learn to communicate and gain skills for a brighter future
  • Families in a refugee camp can have food, shelter, fuel, water and warm clothing for the winter
  • Traumatized children of war can access psycho-social programming to improve their mental health

To pursue dignity, we are happy to introduce IDRF’s latest initiative: 


Join us on a Walk for Dignity to ensure that all human beings around the world can live with dignity in Canada and abroad! Coming to 3 major cities in Canada in May 2017.

Register With Us

Interested to know more?

On Sept 30 we will be kicking off the Dignity Tour series in Toronto at Arta Gallery, 6:30 p.m. Network with like-minded professionals, supporters, humanitarians, and activists and find out more about walking with THE DIGNITY WALK.

Together we can change the lives of many

Buy Tickets for the Dignity Tour: Toronto Event

Happy Eid al-Adha!

We wish a Happy Eid and many blessings to all who are celebrating this holy day!

Thank you for donating your Zakat, Sadaqha and Qurbani through IDRF. Through your very generous contributions, we have provided vulnerable people in various countries, including India, Pakistan, Guyana, Gaza and Syria refugees in Lebanon with life-saving support.

Thank you again and we look forward to continuing to work with you to help vulnerable people in the world build lives of dignity and purpose!

Eid Mubarak!

Happy International Literacy Day!

Reading is a powerful tool that opens up new possibilities, bridges communities and enables people to become more connected to their society. Around the world, illiteracy rates have dropped and more young people are seizing opportunities through greater access to education. Indigenous youth have also made great progress in terms of their scholastic achievements, becoming more educated than previous indigenous generations. Yet, despite this progress, too many still lag behind their non-indigenous counterparts.
In light of International Literacy Day, we are proud to help indigenous children excel in and out of the classroom. As such, we are excited to see the continuing development of our Licensed to Learn (L2L) indigenous education pilot project, which was launched in partnership with the Jays Care Foundation during the 2015-2016 school year. Last year, this program served 28 indigenous children in 2 Toronto schools, connecting students with peer indigenous tutors who offered personalized attention to help students improve their grades, as well as develop their leadership and mentorship skills.
Last year’s programs were such a great success that we’re already planning programs for next year! We invite you to share the hashtag #LiteracyDay with your friends and family and help us support childhood literacy today!

Happy International Youth Day!



We are happy to celebrate International Youth Day and its key theme: The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production. Poverty remains a significant obstacle to providing a prosperous and sustainable future for vulnerable peoples around the world, especially youth. To combat these challenges, greater educational opportunities and job training must be provided to enable youth to build brighter futures for themselves.

For over thirty years, we have been striving to help youth unlock their potential through sustainable development projects that will enable them to acquire useful skills to lead full lives of dignity. Our partnership with Family Educational Services Foundation (FESF) for the Deaf Reach School project located in Karachi, Pakistan is an example of our commitment to help young people with hearing impairments achieve their dreams. Founded in 1999, it has expanded to seven schools and remains the only deaf school system in Pakistan. The school offers English, Math, Science, Urdu and job placement training in Pakistani Sign Language to aid students’ transition into the job market. To date, nearly 800 young adult deaf students have received job  training for obtaining meaningful employment and starting new businesses.

There’s still a lot more we can do to help achieve the objectives of International Youth Day. Learn more here and share the hashtag #YouthDay on your social networks!

Happy International Day of the World’s Indigenous People!

This year’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples theme is a right to education and in honour of this day, we’re happy to celebrate the educational achievements of Canadian aboriginals. Young aboriginals are better educated than older aboriginal Canadians, with greater numbers graduating from high school, college and university than ever before.

Yet, despite these gains, they still lag behind their non-aboriginal counterparts in educational attainment. Aboriginal Canadians also generally earn less than average non-Aboriginal Canadians and have higher rates of homelessness, suicide and risks of substance abuse.

So what can we do?

IDRF has been passionately devoted to helping aboriginal children reach their full potential, supporting the Eel Ground School Breakfast Club in the Eel Ground First Nations Reserve of New Brunswick, to improve nutrition among aboriginal school age children.

Currently, our youth peer mentorship program, License to Learn (L2L), amongst our education programs, is thriving. These programs are helping aboriginal children receive invaluable mentorship from fellow aboriginal and non-aboriginal students at Toronto schools. Last year’s programs were such a big success that we’re already planning programs for next year!

There’s still a lot more for us to do; join us to help children live up to their potential by learning more about our programs. Show your support by sharing the hashtag #WeAreIndigenous on social media!

Congratulations to Majeda al-Saqqa

We congratulate our colleague, Majeda al-Saqqa, from our partner organization, The Culture and Free Thought Association (CFTA), for being awarded the Ordre National du Mérite (National Order of Merit). This prestigious award was given to Majeda by French President, Francois Hollande, in honour of her tremendous humanitarian work in the Gaza Strip.

Majeda has worked in the Gaza Strip for over 25 years and along with the CFTA, she has steadfastly supported humanitarian projects in Palestine. For more than 8 years, IDRF has been proud to partner with CFTA on a wide range of health, relief, education, and development programs. Our most recent project, launched in 2014, provides education support in Khan Younis, offering Math, Arabic, English and Science remedial classes to over 600 children. In addition to this service, the camp also enhances the teaching capabilities of teachers and provides psychological supports for students to improve their academic performances by helping them overcome traumatic experiences.

We congratulate Majeda again on this great honour and look forward to continuing our work with her to provide assistance to the most vulnerable peoples of the Gaza Strip.


Photo Credit: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung Regional Office Palestine

May 2017
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