A time to help
Refugee crisis focus of international aid effort
The Syrian refugee crisis has been an ongoing issue ever since civil war broke out in the Middle East country back in 2011.
Millions have fled to Turkey and Greece in the ensuing years, with many dying en route. Attention to the situation on this side of the Atlantic Ocean peaked earlier this month when a photo emerged of a three-year-old boy on a beach who drowned while attempting to flee Syria. He had family in Canada and there were hopes he would eventually join them there.
Maj. Brenda Bungay from the Salvation Army church in Bay Roberts recently emphasized the need to support efforts to help these people.
“We need to consider the privileges that we have when there’s so many who don’t have what we have,” she told attendees of an International Friendship League luncheon at the Clarke’s Beach community centre on Sept. 23. “We need to pray for asylum seekers and refugees who have experienced trauma and persecution. Pray for asylum seekers who have loved ones in their country of origin and who are at risk of harm.”
Bungay’s talk came two days after World Peace Day, a United Nations initiative that promotes an end to war and violence.
With respect to the Syrian refugee crisis, Bungay said it needs to be addressed urgently. She said world leaders need to come up with solutions to ensure those leaving the country can find somewhere to make a new home.
In the case of her own organization, the Salvation Army has assisted refugees at railway stations, refugee crisis centres, and hundreds of Salvation Army facilities located in Europe.
The Salvation Army currently has a fund dedicated to refugees who left Syria. The federal government will match donations made to all registered charitable organizations assisting the crisis through its own Syria Emergency Relief Fund, with a ceiling set at $100 million for donations made up to Dec. 31.
Maj. Brenda Bungay speaks to members of the International Friendship League at a luncheon in Clarke’s Beach.