The following local businesses have donated great food and supplies!
Food & Drink:
Steam Whistle Brewery
Harbord Room / THR / Flock
Junked Food Company
Peter's No Frills
Vicky’s Fish and Chips
Five Guys (Stockyard location)
Ed's Ice Cream and Gelato
Peller Estates Winery
Evolve Chiropractic on Roncesvalles
Sweetpea’s Floral Boutique
Pop UP Sales of Matar Syrian Women Crafts!
Matar sample catalogue
The Roncesvalles Refugee Relief is more than happy to support the Syrian women who make the Matar handicrafts. A selection of unique and useful handcrafts will be available for sale.
Matar is a non-governmental women’s organization that provides psychological, social, and financial support to internally displaced families within Syria. The organization was established in September 2011, six months after the beginning of the Syrian uprising by female activists experienced in community building and psychological and social support. The organization also includes volunteers with experience in art and education.
The idea of Matar was conceived during visits to violence-stricken towns in order to offer condolences to the families who had lost loved ones and to provide them with some sustenance. The women collected donations from people in other settled towns to help the victims, but the mothers receiving aid expressed embarrassment because they were so used to being independent; accepting financial assistance was difficult for them. The activists decided to encourage appropriate work that allowed these women to continue to assert their autonomy, hone their craft skills, and give a sense of purpose while allowing them to remain with and support their families at home. The passion for knitting amongst women in smaller Syrian towns was an obvious choice. Matar decided to encourage these women to continue practicing and honing their craft and then selling the goods so they could feed their families.
As well, after seeing the devastated psychological condition of many of these families – especially the youth - as a result of having to deal with the loss of friends and family and continuing to live under conditions of violence and oppression, Matar decided to add both psychological and social support.
The name of the organization - “Matar” - was coined for two reasons. Matar means ‘rain’ in Arabic. Rain is essential in Syria, which has been suffering from drought in a region where agriculture is a primary source of livelihood. When it rains in Syria, it cheers people up and gives them hope of a better living and a sense of safety amongst the chaos and dust. Second, Matar is named after a Syrian hero, Ghiyath Matar. Right after the uprising in March 2011, Ghiyath (27-year-old) started a peaceful movement in his town Darayya, 30 minutes from Damascus. He would go to Assad’s security forces and soldiers, who were shooting peaceful protesters on the streets, and give each of them a bottle of water and a flower with a letter saying “We are all Syrians and we are your people; you should not kill us.” Sadly, Assad’s regime arrested Ghiyath and he was subsequently tortured to death in prison.
The goals of the organization are:
Currently, Matar works with 190 women who live in three different towns: Swaida, Jaramana, and Barzeh.
Here is a link to Matar Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Matarhandicrafts/
Our neighbours and Neighbourhood Businesses donated over 90 great silent auction items
See a slideshow preview of our items & baskets HERE: