Maysoun Darweesh is a former Syrian refugee, who lived in Damascus. Until the political unrest reached a dangerous point for her and her family within the country, they were forced to flee to Macau, China. Following acute hardships and challenges to survive in exile, Maysoun began her journey with refugee advocacy soon after and was eventually sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee five years later. She and her family found themselves resettled in Manitoba, Canada by December 2012.
With the knowledge from her degree in Journalism from Damascus University, Maysoun began campaigning in various locations such as schools and churches to encourage refugee sponsorships for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to Canada in 2016. She now holds the position of Migration and Settlement Coordinator at Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba, where she works to provide emotional, and psychosocial support to refugees, along with her local role as executive director for Kurdish Initiative for Refugees Inc. She is also a board member at The Ethno Cultural Council of Manitoba, and the Asian Heritage Society of Manitoba, as well as a member at the Police Accountability Coalition in Manitoba.
Through RAN, Maysoun hopes to overcome the barriers found in many systems and policies which do not meet refugee needs. With the amplified voices of decision makers with first-hand experiences, RAN’s outreach can help improve refugee circumstances by advocating for policies that can be the first step to a better world.
Maysoun also acknowledges that she is a new settler on this land and the truth is the way to recover the past and heal the wounds to build the bridge of trust with our neighbors and friends within the indigenous communities.