BC Sikh Community Support For Syrian Refugees Inspires Local Muslim Community


SURREY – The Muslim community was so impressed by the work done by the Sikh community last week for the soon to be arriving Syrian refugees, and are joining in this great cause with the help of Surrey-North Member of Parliament Randeep Singh Sarai.

Musa Ismail of the BC Muslim Association said, “he was pleased and inspired by the support that the Sikh community has shown, and wants to see the Muslim community take a leading role in this great cause as well.”

Sarai also met again with the Sikh Societies of British Columbia (‘SSBC’) over the weekend, after the Government released its refugee plan.

“The amount of support that the community is generating is encouraging,” Sarai said.

The assembly of community leaders created a website – www.BCSikhs.com – which provides updates on the work being done. Compared to last week, additional groups joined the SSBC and a complete list of organizations can be found on the website.

Furthermore, community based organizations such as: Mosiac; the Surrey Interfaith Society; Options Community Services; and the Kwantlen Student Association came to show their appreciation and for the Sikh community.

“This meeting gave life to the Government’s plan as the stakeholders were able to commit to specific contributions,” Sarai said. The Gurdwaras have also been receiving donation from its congregation. These donations include blankets, food, and clothing.

Compared to the last meeting, there was also an increase in corporate contributions. Tony Singh of Fruiticana stores in Surrey promised to provide free groceries to the refugee families. Other local businesses emphasized their ability to employee the refugees as truck drivers; mechanics; lab-techs; call center callers; or as plumbers and electricians. This would help the refugees on an ongoing basis, and not only when they arrive.

Representatives of the Sikh Student Association from UBC and SFU stated that they are contemplating on creating a mentorship program for the refugee families. This program would assist in coaching the new families on how to use public transit and locating the nearest groceries stores, while connecting them with the government funded social services.