Stories | Humanitarian Coalition


The Humanitarian Coalition members are taking care of basic survival needs and helping people rebuild their lives when their homes, schools and livelihoods have been devastated by a disaster. Learn more about these crises and meet people who have benefited from your support.

“I dread checking my phone”

May 26, 2021

The words of our colleagues are being echoed across the country as hundreds of thousands of Indo-Canadians bear the burden of waiting for news from friends and family in India.

A big relief in difficult times

April 14, 2021

Dina and her family live in Syria. Ten years into the relentless conflict in that country, more than 11 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Helping small businesses in Beirut

April 6, 2021

At 26 years old, she was a proud business owner of a beauty salon. But after the explosion, her shop was destroyed – the windows shattered, the walls crumbled and her equipment was broken.

Coffee, soap and a new business

April 6, 2021

Hanaa, 39 years old, was living in Karantina with her husband and three young children when the explosion upended their lives. Since then, the family has been trying to rebuild.

Samira gets the boost she needs

March 23, 2021

Samira, a 74-year-old widow from a city on the outskirts of Beirut works in a laundry at a nearby hospital where she is paid about $57 per month. “I finish my work, prepare my food and then sleep. That’s it for my day,” she says.

Elesi gets the whole package

March 15, 2021

The devastating Cyclone that swept across southern Africa in March 2019 just made things worse. The flooding brought on by strong winds and heavy rainfall further contaminated the wells and destroyed household latrines.

Sami gets back on his feet

March 15, 2021

The injury turned out to be a fractured ankle that cost Sami his job in home renovation, and his ability to provide for his family. Sami faced a very difficult time.

Zakaria’s tuk-tuk is back

March 15, 2021

All of his family members suffered minor injuries in the blast. His windows were blown out and his doors were destroyed. His tuk-tuk was damaged and his livelihood came to a halt.

Delivering food, sustaining hope

March 15, 2021

When the explosion shook the city of Beirut on August 4, it damaged her home, and Randa did not have the means to pay for the repairs. She and her family had to live without electricity and a working kitchen.

Baby Isra’a is finally eating

March 14, 2021

The 24-year-old mother, her husband and four children are now living in a settlement for displaced people in northwest Syria, staying in an unheated tent and doing what they can to stay warm and survive.

“Help from strangers gives us hope”

March 10, 2021

Ahmed and his family lost everything -- pictures, clothes, memorabilia -- when they were forced to leave their home in Syria to flee the shelling. They left with the few bags they were able to carry on their shoulders, and went to live in Damascus. It was not easy for his wife and three children.

Getting Beirut back in business

March 10, 2021

Avo’s shop was completely destroyed in the blast. The windows were broken and the ceiling, shelves and products were damaged. Avo did not have the means to make the necessary repairs to maintain his business.

Helping Syrian youth in Lebanon

March 8, 2021

Loubna and her family first arrived in Lebanon as refugees, and together they rented a small apartment in Bekaa. Loubna got a job as a caretaker in a clothing store, which allowed her to provide for her two daughters on her own, since her husband is no longer in the picture.

Back to normal with a latrine

March 4, 2021

The only thing worse than having to flee your own home because of flooding, is having to do it two nights in a row.

Hygiene kits help protect families from COVID-19

February 3, 2021

“I lived through various conflicts in Lebanon but what happened to us from this explosion is more catastrophic,” said Walid Chandin AL-Sa’id.

New water tanks collect water, bring hope

January 25, 2021

In April 2020, a category 5 tropical cyclone devastated the Penama province of Vanuatu. Power lines went down, trees were uprooted, roofs were ripped off, homes and gardens were destroyed, and roads were washed out.

A small investment for a great harvest

January 25, 2021

On May 31, 2020, Reina Isabel and her family were startled awake in the middle of the night by Tropical Storm Amanda.

Meet Hagop and Anaheed, from Beirut

January 25, 2021

My name is Hagop. I am 90 years old. I am Lebanese and Armenian and I used to be a professional director. I live with my 80-year-old sister Anaheed, who used to design clothes, in this apartment near the port that we have been renting for the past years.

2020: a year in review

January 25, 2021

In 2020, thanks to the support of the Government of Canada and generous Canadians, the Humanitarian Coalition responded to 14 humanitarian emergencies around the world.

Families in Beirut receive food aid

January 20, 2021

Garry and Kate Mayhew were cleaning up after dinner in their Beirut, Lebanon apartment when they felt the ground shake beneath them. Then they heard a boom so loud and so powerful it threw them to the floor.

An ounce of prevention

December 22, 2020

Abdullah is a 43-year-old father of seven children. When his home in Kuma, in North Darfur, Sudan was destroyed by floods, Abdullah, his wife and his children survived, but they lost everything.

A home of her own

December 22, 2020

Beor Jan was out fetching firewood when the earthquake struck. She rushed back to her home and found her nephew and her neighbours in tears. Everyone was in shock, crying and praying.

Just in time for the baby

December 17, 2020

Serine Ouadis Toulough is a 35-year-old homemaker with two children. She and her husband live in Beirut, less than one kilometre from the epicenter of the August 4th explosion. Their neighbourhood was considered to be one of the zones of Beirut with the most damage and destruction.

Some injuries take longer to heal

December 8, 2020

On August 4th, C finished her shift at the hotel and walked home. She lived in a small studio apartment in the Karentina-Mdawar area in Beirut, Lebanon. She had barely walked through the front door when it happened. Her apartment was less than one kilometer away from centre of the blast that blew across the city.