Lower Mainland Sikh community rallies to help Syrian refugees
Monday, November 23, 2015

The Lower Mainland Sikh community has come together to offer housing, schooling, food, clothing and a slate of services to help support to the Syrian refugees who are expected to arrive in the area over the next few months.

Officials estimate around 2,500 refugees could land in the region within the next few weeks, as part of the federal government plan to bring 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the new year.

"The Sikh community has come to Canada themselves in many different ways from the early 1900's and onwards," said Surrey Centre MP Randeep Sarai.

"Welcoming others, newcomers, was part of their life, whether they knew them or not. Whether immigrants came from India, or whether they were refugees in tumultuous times during the 80s, the Sikh way, the Canadian way, was always to give them a home, help them at the temple and help feed them" he said.

Over the weekend Sarai facilitated a forum of Sikh organizations which had all expressed a desire to answer the Canadian government's call for help in resettling the refugees. The result is a list of wide ranging services: 

  • Free tuition for 1,000 students at Khalsa School for one year.
  • Free meals, clothing and blankets for 2,000 refugees from Gurdwaras in Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, Abbotsford and Surrey.
  • A provincewide campaign to find free housing for an expected 200 families.
  • Transportation from the airport.
  • Pro bono medical services.
  • Childcare for as many as 100 children.


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Source: CBC News