Skate 4 Syrians

Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2nd Annual Skate for Syrians, organized by the Young Professionals Council (YPC) of IDRF.

Blessed with great weather and a perfect indoor/outdoor venue, participants had an amazing time skating for a worthy cause and enjoying some hot chocolate and baked goods in the presence of great company. All proceeds raised during the event, including the silent auction and through crowdfunding will be used to support Syrian refugee children in Lebanon with disabilities and mental health illnesses.

Among the many participants were IDRF-YPC members (Anjum, Muzna, Muhammad, Noman, Shafaq and Seema), IDRF Board members (Zeib Jeeva, Reza Rizvi and Seema Rizvi), IDRF staff (Farheen, Elyas & Dulaa) & even a few local celebrities including Momin Qureshi from 680 News! Although there were many highlights throughout the night, the exuberance of all the children as they skated was a delight to watch. This includes children of recently settled Syrian refugee families whose resilience and commitment to learning something new and becoming a part of the Canadian fabric was inspirational! We look forward to seeing you at another IDRF-YPC event soon. For details on the activities of the Young Professionals Council, visit http://www.idrfypc.com.


Successful Syrian Refugees Fundraiser

On behalf of IDRF, we are extremely grateful to all the hard work and dedication of the Helping Syrian Refugees Womens’ collective in making the Fundraiser for Syrians event a success this weekend! Thank you to all the generous donors and supporters in helping us raise funds to support Syrian refugees living in the refugee camps in Lebanon. Your generosity helped us in raising $100K! This significant contribution will go such a long way to support the refugees to survive the winter months.

Please know that you have made a deep impact on the lives of many and for that we are truly grateful.

At IDRF we believe in ensuring that everyone deserves to live with dignity and today, you allowed us to continue to fulfill that mission and mandate by ensuring that many Syrian refugees living in Lebanon will not have to make that difficult choice of whether to use the limited fuel they have to warm their stoves or their homes.

Thank you for helping us Spread the Warmth.


IDRF stands with the victims of the Quebec City Mosque Shooting

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Background/ Context:

On Jan 29th, a gunman entered the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec, murdering six people and causing shockwaves throughout the world.  In the midst of this horrific act, IDRF offers its heartfelt condolences and support to the victims of the Quebec City Mosque attack.  A mosque, much like all places of worship, is intended to be peaceful, where anyone can go to seek solace and spiritual fulfillment. Considering this, it is shocking and deeply disturbing to know that a violent act was committed there.  In response to this horrific act, IDRF is committed to supporting the victims and their families affected by this tragedy.

IDRF’s Assessment of the Current Situation:

In speaking to the mosque executives at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec is it is our understanding that funds have already been raised to support the communities’ immediate needs of funeral costs and their expenses including rent and bills for this month. The families affected have also had to fly in family members from overseas for additional caregiving, to begin to plan to seek alternative ways of earning an income.  What is still required is a long term strategy on how to support these families in the coming weeks, months and even years as they begin to adjust to the loss of their family members, who were also their family income earners.

IDRF’s commitment for funds collected:

The funds collected through IDRF will be used to support the families in the long term. To ensure that they families have food to eat, access to a place to live and can ensure that their children have access to a good education and a good future. All funds raised through IDRF will be donated directly to the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec and they will in turn support the families with their ongoing needs as required.

Ways to Donate to IDRF

Donations can be made online
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OR can be mailed to

International Development and Relief Foundation (IDRF)

908 The East Mall

Toronto, ON,

M9B 6K2

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The Time to Act is Now: The Humanitarian Situation in Yemen

In the midst of a nearly two year old conflict that has engulfed Yemen, an estimated 44,000 people have been killed or injured, with more than 3 million forced from their homes. The already fragile situation has deteriorated dramatically, and now nearly 21.1 million Yemenis or a staggering 81 percent of the population are in need of some form of humanitarian or protection assistance.

These statistics illustrate a desperate situation that calls for immediate assistance from humanitarian organizations and their supporters.

To help alleviate these dire conditions, IDRF is supporting the efforts of UNHCR to distribute relief aid to Yemen’s beleaguered citizens. We have worked with UNHCR in the past, for example, to secure basic needs for those fleeing mass violence and persecution in Myanmar (Burma). IDRF is proud to once again help to ensure that vulnerable residents receive the urgent assistance they need to survive such as emergency shelter, food and medical aid.

Please donate generously so that we can continue our mission to provide hope and dignity to the world’s most vulnerable people.

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Thank you for helping us spread the warmth on New Year’s Eve!

Last Saturday, we rang in the New Year by hosting our “Spread the Warmth” event, where attendees distributed winter kits to refugees living in Sojourn House, a local Toronto refugee shelter. The event kicked off at the Centre for Social Innovation, with over 40 people in attendance who were there to help their neighbours in need.

Through the generous support of our donors and attendees, over 120 winter kits were assembled, including scarves, mittens, hats and toiletries like toothpaste and toothbrushes. These essential items were then donated to the refugee shelter as individual gifts for their residents.

Our “Spread the Warmth” event was an opportunity for new and existing IDRF supporters to learn about the local and international work of IDRF, highlighting our projects in Lebanon and Gaza to provide residents with winter supplies to help them survive during the winter months.

We are so grateful for the support of our generous attendees who donated their time, energy and winter supplies on New Year’s Eve; we look forward to working with you in 2017 to continue providing dignity and hope to vulnerable people in the world.
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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 www.walkfordignity.com


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


February 2017
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