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Social worker makes appeal to public to support disowned gay international Student

Social worker makes appeal to public to support disowned gay international Student

alexMy name is Alex Sangha and I am the Founder of Sher Vancouver. Sher Vancouver is a social, cultural, and support group for LGBTQ South Asians and Friends. Everyone is welcome in Sher.

I very rarely ask for help but this is an exceptional case. I am writing directly to you to appeal for your support as one of our very own Sher Vancouver members is in dire need of help. In order to protect his identity and personal safety, let’s call him Sukh.

Sukh is currently on a student visa in Canada. He is a full-time student at a local college in Metro Vancouver studying Computer Science. His student visa expires on April 1, 2017. He is 21 years old and from Punjab, India. His family found out he is gay and disowned him and cut-off all his financial support. Someone in the family in Surrey saw him with another man being intimate.

Sukh was at risk of homelessness and having no income or money to support himself to survive. Sukh’s father threatened him if he returns to India and Sukh reports that his cousin brother physically beat him up because he felt Sukh was a shame and disgrace to the family.

I reported to the Hindustan Times <http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/indian-youth-come-out-as-gay-in-canada-family-back-home-abandons-him/story-TiZft8oAkSBSo7t4lAfWBP.html> my first observations of Sukh . . . “He looked anorexic to me. He wasn’t eating, he wasn’t sleeping, he was shaking, and he was crying whenever I mentioned family.”

Sher Vancouver is doing whatever we can within our capacity to support Sukh. We have found a stable home for Sukh. This includes room and board. We are speaking with his college to reduce his tuition fees so he can complete his course.

It is unlikely, however, that Sukh will see a major reduction in his international student fees. Sukh is being provided with emotional and social support through a counsellor at his college. When I asked Sukh … How would he like us to move forward? How can we help you? Sukh stated, “I want to go back to India and live with my mother and father.”

I stated to Sukh that you need to think very carefully about that. Your father has threatened you if you return to India, your family has cut you off financially, you report your cousin brother has physically assaulted you, you were left homeless and pennyless.

I told Sukh that “every child wants to be loved and accepted by those they are close to especially family. However, your family has made it clear that they will not accept a gay child. The good news is that with every crisis there is an opportunity. One door closes and many more doors open. You just have to walk through the open doors.”

Sukh is legally allowed to work 20 hours per week and full-time during the summer semester. We are actively looking for a job for him. If anyone can provide him with a job lead please get in touch via alexsangha@gmail.com.

Sukh is a very presentable and professional person and well-groomed. He has experience in customer service and computer tech support. Sukh would love a job related to his course of study in Computer Science in the Metro Vancouver area.

Sher Vancouver is fundraising to pay mostly for tuition and international school fees for his next semester, as well as his other day-to-day living and legal expenses for his immigration application.

All donations received from the Go Fund Me <https://www.gofundme.com/supportsukh> campaign for Sukh will go 100% to support his settlement and support costs in Canada. *Any additional funds raised over and above our target of $7500.00 will go to provide a contingency fund for Sukh and support other people in crisis.

I reported to CBC News <http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/support-group-raising-money-for-shunned-gay-south-asian-international-student-1.3832151>* that despite what happened to Sukh, things are getting better, *”I don’t want to stigmatise or stereotype the whole South Asian community because over the last 8 years [there’s been a lot of progress].”

Thank you in advance for your support. Please consider liking and sharing this post on social media and with your email contacts.

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