Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Syrian Refugees: “Auntie Amal” success story in Canada

Syrian Refugees | 2019-04-07 14:35:00
Syrian Refugees: “Auntie Amal” success story in Canada
(Zaman Al Wasl)- The Syrian refugee Amal Kanafani was grateful to the Canadian people for helping her and her sick mother, so she wished to return the favor after the death of her mother, and to be an inspiring humanitarian for other refugee women. She engaged in voluntary work and social service for all the nationalities residing in Canada. 

Amal Kanafani has offered many opportunities to community members to develop their social skills while dealing with the pressures and challenges they face through dozens of cultural, recreational and social activities. 

Justin Trudeau, the Canadian PM, honored her and praise for its humanitarian work in 2015, and was chosen as the best visitor in Canada and a new social ambassador for the Syrian refugees.

Amal Kanafani studied in Damascus until she obtained a bachelor's degree in English literature and an MBA before traveling to the United Arab Emirates to work in the education sector, where she was subjected to a painful incident that made her move to Canada, where her sick mother was. 

She told Zaman al-Wasl that this experience has opened her up to social services field.

She began her voluntary work with the help of Syrian refugees in 2013 and with a group of volunteers held weekly meetings to arrange the bringing of Syrians to Canada.

Her knowledge of the English language facilitates her integration.
In addition, she provided all community services. She is teaching Arabic and the Koran for kids in her region.

Children of the region (Canadians and refugees) started to call her "Auntie Amal". Hence, she decided to create an association called "Auntie Amal" to provide a host of initiatives, including welcoming and supporting the Syrian refugees in the central Toronto area, and also helping to integrate refugees into the community of St. James, integrating children from adolescence to youth through Hosting a wide range of activities that will help them on The development of cultural awareness and wider participation in Canadian society.

 The aim of the Association is to conduct various activities by involving residents of the region, especially those who consider themselves "isolated" with high qualifications, commitment and motivation to support the needs of St. James society.

The association was not limited to Syrian refugees but included all those in need regardless of their religion, sex, color or race.

Since April 2013, the Syrian activist started holding meetings with the ministers and the regional advisors on a weekly basis to inform them of the latest developments in Syria and how the Syrian society needs help.

She added that she convinced many officials to bring the Syrians from the camps and pledge their assistance. When the Syrians arrived, the government presented the society with a large storeroom filled with all the new Syrians' requirements.

She said that the association has also provided services related to the transactions required for integration at the beginning of the resort, such as the health card, bank card, registration of their children in schools. 

Also, they tried to establish a food bank to provide the needy with food supplies weekly, and provide the clothing of newborn babies of refugees, and organizing courses to integrate into the Canadian society and the celebration of social events and holidays for each religion and race.

 In addition to caring for the elderly and people with special needs from autism patients and others by assigning qualified volunteers to take care of them and help them in shopping and reassuring them weekly, as well as involving them in the activities of the association and help them in the dates of doctors and teaching the children of refugees English for beginners and Arabic language for children in the headquarters.

She said that the association used to devote one day a week to providing healthy meals for the poor and the needy in the Willsley neighborhood, where she lives.

In 2015, Amal found a deserted space, outside her apartment in 200 Willsley Street, so she decided to bring in volunteers to help clean this place and turn it into a beautiful garden. 

She said that the idea of ​​the park as an act to remember the spirit of her mother, who died in the same area. After the establishment, the park included a tent, a water fountain, a barbecue area, fruit and vegetables, and vegetables.

Zaman Al Wasl
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