Initiation taken by McGill students to assist Syrian Refugees
by aimanmirza on May 9, 2016 - 9:35am
Initiation taken by McGill students to assist Syrian Refugees
In the news report “McGill business students focus on helping Syrian refugees” reported by Karen Seidman and published on April 26 2016, the reporter expresses how the students of McGill University are playing a valuable role in helping the Syrian refugees adapt to their new home in Montreal. It is estimated that out of all the refugees in Canada, 5,638 refugees are living in Quebec at the moment and this number is expected to rise up to 7,300 by the end of 2016. For this current semester at McGill, faculty speaker, Anita Nowak, invites her students who are enrolled in the business program to propose various ideas to help the refugees by the help of their social and communication skills. Nowak states to the Montréal Gazette, that not only will this have a positive impact on the lives of the new refugees, however it will also prove to them that there is a high amount of empathy coming from the residents of Montreal towards them. For Nowak, there’s a major difference between empathy and pity, and she made sure that all of her students understood that before proceeding on with the initiation to assist the refugees. According to Anita Nowak, this new movement will not only inspire her students to help others, but to also ‘’be the change’’ in the social convention.
The business undergraduates came up with many facilities to assist the refugees in need, such as a vocational food program and a mobile app that helps them locate the nearest babysitters who are willing to volunteer. They also focused on assuring the fact that they adapt to the new environment with the Syrian refugees and become mentally stable by making them socialize and fulfill their needs through co-operative housing and by presenting places to them where they can eat and communicate with others by making it easily accessible to them. For some of the undergraduates, the transportation was an issue to be discussed for the refugees, which needed a proper solution to it. The newcomers had trouble communicating and didn’t feel safe using public transport, therefore the students created an app named ‘’Ride With Me’’ which assists the refugees in using a carpooling service offered by the AMT (Agence Metropolitaine de Transport). The business students claim that mastering transportation will have the biggest impact on the lives of the refugees as it will help them with jobs, education, shopping and simply adapting to their new environment. Each one of these refugees will be receiving further information about these services in their ‘’welcome’’ package. Additionally, the refugees will also have one person accompanying them in the public transports to show them the basics until they get a decent understanding of it themselves. Due to the fact that most refugees (specially the older ones) are not able to fully speak English, Nowak is launching another program to help them learn the language so they can easily apply to schools and even universities like McGill. Nowak would like to create a free tutoring program at Solin Hall residence in McGill for the Syrian refugees. The students and the faculty leader aim to raise $25,000 through a crowd funding campaign for the newcomers and the McGill team has already reached 20% of their goal.
The article regarding McGill students providing services for the Syrian refugees connects with my final project as I plan on distributing food and hygienic kits to the homeless in Montreal with the help of the Purple Hope Project organization on May 8 2016 just like the business students of McGill provided facilities for the refugees. This Saturday, I will be attending a fundraising/dinner event where the profit from selling the tickets for the event will go towards purchasing hygienic kits for the less fortunate individuals on the streets on Downtown Montreal. The fundraising event also links in with the crowd funding campaign that Anita Nowak launched in order to collect money to provide a free tutoring program for the Syrian refugees. The business students of McGill and Anita Nowak seemed to have a plan in regards to what they will be doing in the next few months for the Syrian refugees which is something that I would like to incorporate in my final project in order to show what our main objective will be for the upcoming event and what strategies we will use to meet our goal. Although the Purple Hope Project is not intending to distribute food specifically to the Syrian refugees at the upcoming food distribution, the dinner event that will take place this Saturday will have invited and sponsored a few Syrian refugees so that they may enjoy a great evening with good food and socialize with others to help them adapt to the new area. This aspect relates to the part of the article that mentions that the students of McGill showed the refugees many places where they can go to socialize and eat with individuals who have free time to chat and comfort others. Overall, this article has a great correlation with my final project as it encouraged me to make a plan before participating in the event just so that I am aware of what my main objective is in regards to the event and how I will implement my ideas and services into my actions.
Click here to read more about the article: http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/mcgill-business-students-focus-on-helping-syrian-refugees
The matter of helping out individuals all around the world whether they be Syrians, homeless people from our own area or orphans, relates to the idea of new power in todays day and age. One of the main elements of new power is mass participation and peer coordination in an act, which does not necessarily affect the matter that I am researching on concerning helping the homeless and doing humanitarian work rather the new power ideology mostly supports and revolves around my final project. The Purple Hope Project organization that I will be volunteering for on May 8, the values that they hold within the organization are that anyone’s participation is welcome and encouraged. The Purple Hope Project committee strives to expand their work all around the city of Montreal and encourage individuals of all ages to participate in humanitarian work concerning feeding the homeless and providing them with a safe environment in order for them to live a decent life. With the help of new power, we can portray our message about the importance of participating in humanitarian activities to the world and get the most help possible to eliminate the poverty and financial crisis that certain people deal with on a day-to-day basis. This can be done by organizing multiple events and activities with the community is Montreal and getting people aware of the issue. Another aspect that new power holds that connects to the topic of participation in humanitarian activities is that building upon previous experience will allow you to expand your knowledge and develop a better plan to success. For example, the Purple Hope Project only serves to feed the homeless in the Greater Montreal area. Before the organization became known, the team only consisted of seven active volunteer members who had a general idea of humanitarian related work and volunteering. However, their minimal experience that they possessed allowed them to improve on their volunteering skills by working in a team with an organization and spreading their knowledge and talents with others so that others can learn and use those skills in other domains. Because of the increase in volunteers that the Purple Hope Project have, their organization has the ability to expand their work and maybe create events outside of Montreal and help distribute food and basic necessities to the homeless in other provinces in Canada. In 2016, the idea of new power isn’t quite used since most individuals nowadays like to think that we are our own leaders and do not need mass participation. However issues such as importance of being involved in humanitarian activities can relate to the concept of new power as most humanitarian work involve organizations who work together in a large number to benefit those who are in need.