Fundraiser for Syrian Refugees on Sunday
Prince George, B.C. – The Exploration Place will be the site of a Syrian refugee fundraiser Sunday.
Admission is by cash donation and runs from 3-5 p.m. There will be craft tables, henna (temporary tattoo art), a silent auction as well as other activities for families to participate in.
Hira Rashid, volunteer event coordinator for the group PG Citizens for Syrian Refugee Support, says the plan is to raise funds to help privately sponsor Syrian refugee families to come to Prince George.
“Because we didn’t make the cut to get the government to sponsor them I think maybe because we’re a smaller city,” she says. “There’s a lot of private groups in town, a lot of churches, that are trying to sponsor refugee families, so what we’re trying to do is collectively raise money to help them out.”
She says all money collected on Sunday will be held by the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society (IMSS).
“We’re not working with them, they’re just holding the money for us so that way they can equally distribute it,” says Rashid.
“It costs about $30,000 to sponsor one family of six and so we want to bring families into the community and welcome them and give them a new home.”
She says the money will be used for things like accommodation and clothing, all the basic necessities for one year until they can get back on their feet.
According to a city report, Prince George will receive five privately sponsored refugees before Christmas and will be working with the provincial government and community agencies to prepare for their arrival.
The report also says IMSS has experienced settlement practitioners and capacity to provide onsite language training and daycare service plus a network of mentors prepared to welcome and assist refugees access things such as health and health services.
In addition, the provincial government has provided funding for five Community Refugee Response Teams, designed to meet immediate refugee needs.
It is expected that Prince George will receive a maximum $25,000 to aid in those efforts.
Rashid says she can’t wait for the first family to arrive.”It’s pretty soon which is amazing. Once we have our first family here it will push the community to welcome more.
“It would be great to get a few families in town just because Prince George is such a loving and caring community and we’ve seen that through organizing this event.”