Syria is a country located in the Middle East. This country has been experiencing war, involving the Syrian government, its allies and neighbouring countries, for almost 5 years now and is still ongoing. Millions of lives have already been taken as a result of this war, and more than 4.5 million Syrians have fled Syria (most being women and children) to seek refuge in the neighbouring countries. Syria is completely destroyed due to the war.
The left photos show the country of Syria before the war, and the right photos show Syria after the war has taken place.
Women and children fleeing their country to seek refuge
It is heartbreaking to hear that the homes of these people have been taken away from them and are forced to leave their home country all because of the war. Families, especially children are affected emotionally and mentally and need help to move on from their experiences and start fresh.
On the bright side, Canada has welcomed 25,000 Syrian refugees giving them the opportunity to start a brand new life in our country. According to the Government of Canada website, 26,207 Syrian refugees have already arrived in Canada. Our government has a humanitarian program, and it is a humanitarian act to help the Syrian refugees start anew and give what Canada can offer. Our country is serving as an example of compassion.
So, why is this important?
Well, since so many Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada, they need necessities such as clothing, food, houseware, etc.
Syrian Refugees in Bekaa Valley Refugee Camp in Lebanon
This past weekend, I volunteered for Friends of Syria at Ports Toronto where I learned about the importance of volunteerism. Organizations like these rely on volunteers to help them accomplish their goal, which in this case is to help the Syrian refugees not only in Canada but also in a place called Bekaa Valley located in Lebanon. Friends of Syria sends at least 2 containers full of necessities such as clothing to a Syrian refugee camp in Bekaa Valley that is in great need. This camp has been categorized as “forgotten” and do not have the necessities to survive in harsh conditions.
As the director of Friends of Syria informed me about their mission and this camp, I realized how important volunteerism is. Without volunteers, nothing can be done. This inspired me to not only volunteer even more whenever I can, but to also spread this message.
While I was volunteering for Friends of Syria, I sorted out clothing donations for them to be put into their proper rooms according to the items, such as clothing or kitchenware. I also talked about Miss Teenage Canada and received their support.
So many garbage bags full of donations and this isn’t even a quarter of them!
Sorting clothing donations for Friends of Syria
Volunteering for Friends of Syria to help the Syrian refugees both in Canada and in Bekaa Valley Refugee Camp
My experience volunteering here has taught me a lot and I will definitely volunteer again soon! If you would like to volunteer, Friends of Syria are welcoming volunteers every Sunday! They really need the help of volunteers, and the Syrian refugees need your help as well! Please come and help out! For more information, visit the Friends of Syria website!
Also, feel free to leave a comment below!
-Ranielle, Miss Teenage Scarborough 2016