Refugee advocate robbed by trusted friend
KIM Edwards, the Sunshine Coast business woman volunteering at a refugee camp on the Syrian-Lebanon border, has been left cash strapped after being robbed by a trusted friend.
Ms Edwards, who ran an English school on the Sunshine Coast for two decades and has done enormous work to raise awareness about refugees, doesn't even have enough money left to fly home.
In an emotional post from Zahle, Lebanon, Ms Edwards said on Sunday night that the "unimaginable has happened"
"Money I had, the last of my savings, has been lost (stolen) from me," she said.
"After pouring my heart, soul and resources into the refugee camps for six months as an unpaid volunteer this is a real blow.
"I've spent thousands on medicines and food for people. I've diligently given donations I have received to those in camps.
"Now, I'm the one with nothing left.
"This was funds I was counting on to fly home. I have just enough left to pay one more mortgage payment on my home in Australia.
"I'm feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment."
Ms Edwards told the Daily she wasn't robbed "due to a home invasion or anything of personal safety" even though she is living in one of the political hotspots of the world.
"It was as the result of loaning someone the money," she said.
"I lent it to them in trust six months ago. I had set strict conditions (on paying it back). I asked for it back a month ago and they said they would pay me in July.
"Then I said I would come and get it on my visa run this week and now they have admitted it's all gone and they don't have it.
"I was just gutted as it was the last I had really."
She has also highlighted some of the security issues she has been living with.
"We've had tanks on the streets, curfews imposed, bombers overhead and just this week someone trying to break into my car with a rock," she said.
"These things I guard against and am vigilant for as I expect them.
"I guess it hurts even more as it was from someone I trusted."
Many of Ms Edwards supporters have already put up their hand to offer financial help.
She has had a Gofundme page set up at https://www.gofundme.com/kimedwards to raise money to help fund her mission in Lebanon and for educational resources for the refugees.