Help an Iraqi Trans Woman Refugee in Turkey Come to Canada.

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Help an Iraqi Trans Woman Refugee in Turkey Come to Canada.
Help an Iraqi Trans Woman Refugee in Turkey Come to Canada.
3.58% Raised
$663.00 donated of $18,500.00 goal
8 Donors
Campaign has ended

Aziza* is a 29-year-old Iraqi trans woman refugee in Turkey. We are a group of LGBTQ+ friends and allies in Toronto, Canada, who have come together to help bring her to safety in Canada under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program. As sponsors, we will help Aziza build her new life in Canada during her first year. But the Canadian government also requires us to raise a minimum of $18,250 to support Aziza financially for one year. All money we raise will go directly to her when she arrives in Canada.

When Aziza arrived in Turkey from Iraq in 2016, the Turkish government assigned her to a small, conservative city in a remote part of the country. Life for a trans woman refugee was incredibly difficult there so she moved to a large metropolitan area in early 2021. Unfortunately Turkish government refugee policies mean she can be deported if she is found outside her assigned city and rising anti-refugee sentiment has sparked draconian deportations without due process. Even in this larger, more tolerant urban setting, Aziza has been assaulted in the street and faced harassment from strangers, landlords, employers and officials.

Aziza’s situation is further complicated because she is currently in a long-term relationship with an older man who is physically and emotionally abusive, but upon whom she is financially dependent.

Like most trans women from Iraq, Aziza is even at risk from her own family. In 2016 when they discovered she was dating a man, her father and uncles threatened to kill her. Only a warning from her sister saved her. With the help of her mother, sisters and a friend, she managed to escape to Turkey with only a little money and a few days’ supply of insulin.

Aziza’s current situation in Turkey is precarious, even though she has been formally recognized by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) as a refugee. She presents as female but all her documentation is in her birth name, which immediately outs her to anyone who sees her identification. It is impossible for most refugees in Turkey to get consistent health care and it is even more difficult for trans people. Aziza is currently taking hormones but is not medically supervised. She has also been an insulin-dependent diabetic since she was 14. One of our goals in bringing Aziza to Canada is to provide competent, respectful healthcare to manage her medical treatment.

Aziza has no hope for a future in Turkey and cannot return to Iraq. Her despair has led to two suicide attempts by insulin overdose. We want to bring hope back to Aziza by helping her build a life of safety and dignity in Canada, but to do this we need your financial help. Your donation will help make Aziza’s dream of a life in Canada come true. All donations are eligible for a Canadian tax receipt.


Help an Iraqi Trans Woman Refugee in Turkey Come to Canada.

One thought on “Help an Iraqi Trans Woman Refugee in Turkey Come to Canada.

  • 28 July 2023 at 9:43 am

    Thanks for all you do, Don and Bill! Looking forward to meeting Aziza one day in her new free life.


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