According to CBC, the world's biggest refugee camp in the world is located in Kenya and counts nearly 250,000 people. Some people have been living in these camps for almost 20 years, and some were even born there.
The African Diaspora Association of the Maritimes says they aren't against Syrian refugees, they just want the same kind of help for Africa, because the refugee camps in Africa existed well before the Syrian conflict broke out. They believe the situation in Africa is simply more dire.
When Justin Trudeaupledged to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees into Canada, citizens reacted with strong emotions. Some praised the decision, understanding the need to help refugees in need of safety.
Others deplored the initiative, with no other reasoning than pure xenophobia, although I'm sure they would say otherwise. But dissenters of Canada's decision to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees might change their mind after they watch this video.
Created by Google as a "thank you" to all of those who helped incoming refugees transition to life in Canada during their time of need, the short video focuses on one family's rather heartwarming story. Yes, the video kind of functions as a an ad for Google Translate, but it's touching nonetheless.
Understanding the daily struggles a refugee must go through is a near impossible task for us in Canada. Safe inside our comfortable homes, in a rather liberal country, we simply don't experience the hardships of a person forced to flee from their country of origin.
McGill student Majdi Hareri wants to combat this fact and help Canadians better understand and sympathize with migrants and refugees. To do so, Hareri, of Syrian-Canadian heritage, is putting himself in the shoes of a refugee (quite literally) as he walks 500 kilometres from Montreal to Toronto entirely on foot.
On average, a migrant or refugee will walk 25 kilometers every single day, and to raise awareness on this daily struggle, Hareri is doing the same. Since April 2nd, Hareri has been walking a full 25km each day, a journey that will go on until April 22nd.
Dubbed the "500 KM Walk for Migrants and Refugees," Hareri hopes his endeavor will raise awareness and sympathy for refugees in need of aid, and support them in any way possible.
For every kilometer he walks, Hareri is also asking Canadian citizens to donate one penny, making for a donation of $5 in total. All funds raised will then go towards a "a charity helping Migrants and Refugees in Europe," as outlined on the philanthropic initiative's website.
Quite the undertaking, both physically and emotionally, Hareri has already experienced a fair amount of obstacles in his journey. The (very) cold weather at the start of the month proved to be rather difficult to deal with, as Hareri documented on his ongoing vlog posts, as did certain physical injuries that came about due to the sheer amount of walking Hareri must do every day.
But hardships are all a part of the process; a truly impassioned undertaking, Hareri has found a way to create positive change while inspiring others to do the same.
The initiative displayed by Hareri demonstrates how one individual can help many, and that we shouldn't pass up a chance to aid those in need. Hareri is giving us all this chance through his 500km walk, so if you can, donate to the crowdfunding campaign and help make a difference.
Last fall, a group of about 15 McGill students living in the university's Solin Hall residence banded together to aid Syrian refugee-students in their search for knowledge.
Taking to Skype, the group, known as McGill's Living-Learning Community tutored six Syrian student refugees living in Turkey, helping them learn English in preparation of taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam.
But beyond the educational directive, the rather devoted students hoped to demonstrate to these young individuals who were forced to flee their home country that there were young people in Canada who truly wanted to help them.
Now the group, who currently go by Students for Syria, hope to take their initiative to the next level, and they need your help.
In order to fund the education and living costs of incoming Syrian refugee students arriving in Montreal, the student-led organization are hoping to raise $25,000 USD.
The raised funds will be donated to Syrian Kids Foundation and World Universities Services Canada, two organizations that will directly aid Syrian students come to Montreal and enrol in a university here.
Students for Syria only launched their fundraising campaign 15 days ago, raising just under $3,000. Obviously they're quite a fair bit off from their $25,000 goal, which means they need your help to get there.
Even the smallest donation will go a long way in aiding Syrian students receive an education here in Montreal, so please do contribute in any way you can. For more information and to donate funds, head to the project page here, and watch Students for Syria's info video below.
Unlike doctors, social workers, or even simple home-owners, a lot of us younger Montrealers don't have a lot to offer the Syrian refugees coming into the city.
As children of the 90s and early 2000s, what we do have is a near-encyclopedic knowledge (and intense adoration) for all things Harry Potter.
What does that have to do with anything related to the incoming refugees who seriously need our help? Everything, actually, because Harry Potter and philanthropy are joining forces for the "the Harry Potter trivia night + coat donations" an event you'll all love that will also aid some people in need.
To be held at the beloved Crescent dive bar Mad Hatter Pub, the Harry Potter trivia night spectacular is exactly what is sounds like: a trivia competition with all things Harry Potter used as questions. Note, that both the books and movies will be fair game, so be sure to know everything you can about both mediums, not that you already don't.
On the charity side of things, the event will also be used as a means to collect winter clothes for Syrian refugees coming to Montreal, many of which have never experience winter, let alone an intense Montreal one. All manner of seasonal garbs and sizes will be accepted, so please do bring along whatever you can spare.
Speaking of apparel, any and all participants are also encouraged to dress up in costume. So go ahead and rock those wizard robes you only keep around the house, as a legit costume could win you some free drinks, many of which will be Harry Potter-themed for the event.
Harry Potter Trivia Night + Coat Donations will be held on December 14th, on the second floor of Mad Hatter Pub. For more details and updates, head over to the official Facebook event page here.