The current refugee crisis is one of the largest in history, with millions of people forced to flee their homes to find safety. As this humanitarian crisis continues, many families are slowly resettling in countries around the world, including Canada.
Members of Girl Guides of Canada have been supporting people arriving in their communities. The Girl Guides recognise the importance of helping those in need and have been busy learning about the situation and taking action.
“We talked about the challenges these [refugee] children would face, among them language”.
Girl Guides have been learning about the countries that people arriving in Canada as refugees have come from, the reasons for leaving their homes and their experiences as refugees. Through activities, the girls have reflected on the relationships they hold with members of their communities locally and globally. It’s important to understand the background of the humanitarian crisis – where people who are refugees have come from, and why they have had to leave their homes - building this understanding helps to dismantle the many misconceptions about refugees, and people’s fear of what is happening. Education is an important step for fostering empathy and acceptance, and the first step in extending a hand of friendship and support to people arriving in new countries.
After travelling thousands of miles and having left their homes with very little, many refugees are arriving in Canada with few possessions. To help welcome people to their new country, Girl Guides have collected clothes, food and toiletries as donations for a range of centres hosting refugees. Guides have also been getting creative and made welcome cards for refugees, to let the new arrivals know that Canadians are happy that they have found safety and welcoming them to the community.
For many refugee children arriving in Canada, settling into a new community will mean a return to school after a long break. The Girl Guides collected school and art supplies and filled rucksacks for the children, to help them to get ready and excited to go back to school.
With the passion and enthusiasm to collect as much as possible, the girls appealed on local television stations for donations, and created a webpage for people to find out more about donating. All of their efforts were recognised when they were featured in local news reports highlighting their hard work, leadership and dedication to helping Canada’s newest residents.
Read more about what Girl Guides in Canada have been doing to support people arriving in Canada as refugees:
- Girl Guides Collect Food for Refugees - News story on Guelph Refugee Forum website
- The gift of school supplies - Girl Guides of Canada Blog
- Taking action for refugees… and a better world - Girl Guides of Canada Blog
- CBC and CTV coverage of the Girl Guides' activities