Two of the Snowden refugees arrive in Canada

By March 25, 2019September 11th, 2020No Comments

Dear friends,

Something amazing is happening, and we wanted you to be the first to know.

After over seven years in limbo in Hong Kong, Vanessa Rodel and her daughter Keana are on their way to Canada to start a new life. Their plane touches down in Toronto this evening and from there they’ll fly to Montreal tomorrow, where they will settle.

It isn’t all happy news. The other five Snowden refugees, including two other young children, are still stuck in Hong Kong waiting for the Canadian government to process their applications.

So we need to keep the pressure on and demand the Trudeau government expedite their applications.

Here’s what you can do to help:

  • Make another donation. Our resources will be stretched to the breaking point supporting families on two continents and we need help. It’s as simple as that. You can donate right here:
  • Share the video we just released. Today’s arrival is a big media story. We’ve given advance access to a handful of outlets including CNN, the Washington Post, the National Post, and Radio-Canada, and pretty much every major outlet will be covering this story in the hours to come. We need to capitalize on all the attention to raise as much money as we can today. Share this video on Facebook and Twitter, along with a message to your followers urging them to donate.




But let’s also take a moment to celebrate what we have achieved together. Since the Hong Kong government cut off their support payments in 2016, your donations have been the only thing keeping Vanessa, Keana and the others fed and housed.

You quite literally saved their lives and helped them survive long enough to make it to Canada.

The job is not finished. We now will need funds to secure an apartment, food, clothes and other essentials of life for Vanessa and Keana in Canada, while we continue to send money to Hong Kong every month to pay the living expenses of the remaining five refugees who are still there.

Our expenses will go up now, and we need your support once more to help Vanessa and Keana get settled while we continue to fight to bring Ajith, Supun, Nadeeka and their two children to Canada.

In 2018 alone, we raised just under $150,000 CAD from tens of thousands of donors like you, all around the world. Over 60 per cent of that went directly to the refugees, to pay their living expenses in the second most expensive city in the world. The rest went to travel expenses to pay for volunteer lawyers to fly to Hong Kong to represent the families in different legal procedures, other costs incurred on their behalf and to expenses associated with raising the money. As an organization, we’re run by a volunteer board and have no permanent staff. We spend money on nothing that doesn’t either directly help the refugees or help us bring in more money.

We’re committed to bringing all seven refugees to safety, but we couldn’t do any of it without your help.

From everyone here at For the Refugees, thank you. Your support has already saved two lives, and it may yet save five more.  

As Edward Snowden would say, you are the hero you’ve been waiting for.

In solidarity and hope,

Ethan Cox

Board member

For the Refugees

P.S. Here’s an article on today’s developments from the National Post