Skate4Rohingya – Embracing Canadian Values

I often think of what my life would like be if my parents didn’t come to Canada. I take pride and remind myself of what a blessing it is to be in this country. A country largely protected by some of the humanitarian crisis that we unfortunately too often see on our social media feeds. We are a country known globally to consist of friendly people who say “sorry” and “eh” in everyday speech. Being Canadian, I can proudly can say, we are more than just friendly. We are a country that embraces different cultures, value diversity and generously give back. According to statistics Canada, in 2010 Canadians donated $10.6B in the amount of financial donations to charitable and non-profit organizations.  This is a significant amount considering we have a population of ~36M. Suffice to say, not only are we “nice”, but we are also very generous and value the importance of charitable giving. 

With the Canadian mindset of wanting to help others and supporting charitable organizations, I have had the privilege of working with IDRF’s Young Professional Council (YPC) over the last few years. YPC, is a group of dedicated and humble individuals who share IDRF’s values of human dignity, self-reliance, and social justice. IDRF, a registered Canadian Charity, is a true testament to our Canadian culture.

YPC’s goal is to create awareness within our personal and professional communities to raise funds and support IDRF’s mission to empower the disadvantaged people of the world. IDRF provides effective humanitarian aid and sustainable development programs, without discrimination, based on the Islamic principles of self-reliance, social justice and human dignity. Over the past two years, YPC has supported IDRF’s humanitarian efforts. This year will be our 3rd Annual Skating event, which will be raising funds to support the Rohingya People in Northern Rakhine.

Our 3rd Annual Skating Event:
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YPC will host its 3rd Annual Skating Event on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at the Larry Grossman Forest Hill Memorial Arena in Toronto 1pm. This year all funds raised will go to support the humanitarian crises of the Rohingya People.  About 500,000 people have sought shelter in Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar in late August 2017, according to the United Nations. IDRF’s response to date has been to deliver Food Aid to Rohingya Refugees and Emergency Food parcels across 17 villages in Northern Rakhine. With your support we will help IDRF’s continued efforts to provide aid during this unimaginable plight. 

To purchase tickets online for our skating event visit: http://idrf.com/s4r/

To learn more about IDRF’s emergency response efforts for the Rohingya People visit: https://idrf.com/causes/forgotten-ones-of-bangladesh/.

A Reflection on Last Years Event

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect refreshing winter day for our “Skate4Syrians” event last year, which marked the second consecutive year for our family friendly fundraiser.  The event took place at the picturesque Evergreen Brickworks skating rink last February.  With the support of our family and friends the evening was filed with energy and generosity, as over 100 skaters of all skill level skated laps for a great cause. With everyone’s support we were able to raise over $7,000, which were used to provide mental health screening for Syrian refugees in northern Lebanon. IDRF’s program provided refugee children with ongoing mental health support in the form of music, play, and drama therapy; as well, their caregivers received training to improve their abilities to support at risk children with mental health needs.

Last year, we had the pleasure of hosting a Syrian Family who had just moved to Canada.  What better way to embrace Canadian culture than to get on the ice and support an importance cause. Skating volunteers helped our Syrian families get on the ice and many of our other volunteers helped with organizing and providing an abundance of baked goods to enjoy!

With the support of our community, we look forward to a successful event this upcoming Saturday. We look forward to seeing you all there.  Together we can make a difference!

Authored by: Anjum Chughtai-Malik

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