Short summary and donations

In 2018-2019 we travelled the world for a year. If you were already following us then, you might remember the story of Maya, Ramy and Sophia. In that case I can keep it short: after all our efforts in 2019 and thanks to our Canadian friends + a church in Ottowa we can finally tell you that after 5 more years of waiting they are allowed to go to Canada! There is only one more hurdle to overcome: the Canadian government only allowes refugees who received $30.000 CAD from donations (you are not allowed to finance this part yourself). For this reason I started a crowdfunding. Donations are possible from $5,-


Full story

If you don’t know the story yet, or you want to hear it again? Here we go!

In February 2019 at the end of our year long trip we went to Langkawi, an island in Malaysia. Because we wanted to eat something else then rice for a change we went to a restaurant with superb reviews, where apparently they sold the best falafel. It was run by a Syrian family who fled Syria because of the war in december 2016 (Ramy), followed by Maya and Sophia a year later. Sophia turned out to be the same age as Liv and for the girls it was love at first sight.

Liv en Sophia






I was touched. Two girls, completely the same, but because of their passports so different. While Liv had the world at her feet, Sophia’s future was so uncertain.

Although they were allowed to be in Malaysia this was the only positive not. With their Syrian background they didn’t have right of existence and no right for a permanent visa. It was a temporary station, but going from there was impossible too, because no country would let them enter.


In Maylaisa Sophia is not allowed to go to school, they can’t open a bankaccount, don’t have acces to medical care and officially that aren’t allowed to run the restaurant, but it’s tolerated although every day this could change. They told us that Canada was one of the few countries where you had a chance to get a visa.


We just came from Canada…. so we promised we would help and posted their story on social media. Long story short, via our sweet Canadian friends Heather and Dean, all of Ramy’s and Maya’s own efforts, we found a church in Ottowa who agreed to be their “guarantee person” (not sure what to call this in English). In Canada you need someone who can be your guarantee and who will help you with everything you need when you arrive in Canada.

Now the process could start!

The procces to get into Canada

This process was a lot longer than we expected. Also because of Covid. Now, 5 years after it started, they finally got the go! The are allowed to go to Canada! Sophia’s greatest wish is about to be fullfilled: going to school. BUT: the need $30.000 CAD this is mandatory by the Canadian government so they won’t have to ask for help the first year that they are there. AND this money can solely come from donations. They can’t bring the money themselves. This way Canada wants to make sure that everyone has a chance, not only rich people who will “buy their way in”.


The money from GoFundMe will go straigth to the church in Ottowa which will manage the money. You can read teir whole story (English) there, but I do like to share Ramy’s words here:

Canada holds a unique meaning for each of us.
For Sophia, it represents the opportunity for a proper education, something she hasn’t had in Malaysia. It also means experiencing the joy of winter, like building snowmen.
For Maya, it signifies a return to the comfort and security of a warm home – something she lost in Syria. It’s a place where she won’t have to fear while she work.
For me, as a father and husband, Canada feels like a formidable challenge, a mythical monster I must conquer to fulfill my family’s dreams and secure their safety.

Why would you donate?

I know there is a lot going on in the world 🙁 and that we can’t help everyone. I also know that $30.000 is a lot of money, but this sweet family will do everything to be part of the Canadian society and contribute. They are hard working people who did everything in their power to make sure Sophia would have chances within all the limits they are facing. She deserves it to be able to go to school and to grow up with the same chances our children have..

Besides this you can try Maya’s falafel is you are ever in the Ottowa region 🙂 They would love to do something in return.

I hope you can spare a little money, every little bit helps!

Want to help but you cannot donate?

If you can’t spare a donation, but you do want to help? Then please share their story, this is also a huge help!

On behalf of  Maya, Ramy and Sophia and ourselves: thank you so much. Words cannot express how grateful we are!