The man behind a photo project that features portraits of ordinary people on the streets of New York has raised $700,000 for refugees in three days.
Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York, started the online fundraiser after 11 Syrian refugees and their families were intrviewed for the blog.
The refugees outlined their struggles in Syria and the difficulty they faced in relocating to a new country.
One woman said “Because I’m a refugee, my life is on pause. My studies have stopped. I’m not working. I don’t have a career. Because I’m Syrian, I’m not allowed to participate in society.
"It’s been years of doing nothing. I used to be a cheerful person. I was always invited to parties. Now I like to be alone.”
Stanton started the fundraiser in order to raise money for the families that he had interviewed, enough to help them get settled into their new life.
He set up the fundraiser page and encouraged fans of the blog to donate, setting a target of $100,000 dollars, enough for each family to receive just over $9000 each.
Stanton wrote on the Generosity page: “They will be starting at zero in a new country. In addition to the culture shock, they will face innumerable obstacles, including the need to learn an entirely new language.
“They have escaped a horrible war, and have finally secured a degree of safety and security, but the road will be very tough for them.
“As they attempt to get their footing, they will be provided with little more than the bare minimum needed to subsist.”
Thanks to blog readers’ generosity, there is now enough to give each refugee family over $65,000 to aid their resettlement.
The money raised will be shared out among the 11 families profiled on the site, and if any of the families refuse the money, their share will be given to a resettlement charity.
The fundraising page can be found here.
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