Matraea launches refugee fundraiser

The Matraea Centre in Duncan is launching an ambitious fundraising project to help Syrian refugees.

The Matraea Centre in Duncan is launching an ambitious fundraising project to help Syrian refugees.

They’re calling it the Cowichan Community Business Challenge, and they aim to raise $25,000 by Nov. 30, which the federal government has pledged to match, for a total of $50,000.

There’s an information meeting to familiarize those interested with the project on Tuesday,  Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Matraea Centre classroom.

“We envision a community response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria,” said Rupert Koyote, a managing partner of the Centre. The numbers are stark, and Koyote lists some of them in his appeal.

Eleven million Syrians have been displaced by the civil war in their country, with 6.5 million having left their homes to try to find a safe place within the country, and over four million having travelled into surrounding countries like Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands have fled to Europe, with the majority remaining in refugee camps.

“The situation has reached the point that it has been dubbed the largest refugee crisis since World War II,” said Koyote.

On Sept. 12, the Canadian government pledged to match private donations of emergency humanitarian aid directed to Syrian refugee camps up to $100 million before Dec. 31 and the Matraea Centre has their eyes on that promise.

The Centre is partnering with PLAN Canada’s Syrian Refugee Appeal on the project.

PLAN is a registered charity focused on assisting women and children throughout the developed world. Founded in 1937, PLAN has no political or religious affiliation.

The Matraea Centre is also putting their money where their mouths are, getting the fundraising ball rolling with a $1,000 donation.

For more information on what you can do contact or call 778-422-3003.

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