Syrian refugees clean Ottawa park to say thank you to community for the second year.
After the huge success of many projects including last year Capital Cleaning by newcomers. A group of Syrian refugee children in Ottawa helped clean a park near their home this weekend as a way to say thanks to the community that welcomed them 2 years ago for the second year. This activity was organized by Humans for Peace Institution (HPI), a non for profit organization.
About 40 people gathered Sunday April 22nd morning at Ogilvie North Park with gloves and garbage bags to pick up litter left around the grounds, and to celebrate the Earth Day. The green space is located near two highrises at 1240 and 1244 Donald St. where approximately 400 Syrian refugees live.
"They're very excited and happy to help and give back to their local community" said Dr. Yusra Kassim VP for women affairs at HPI. "We want to clean the park where children play every day to keep it clean and safe for them" and she added"We also want to help the community, this is our home.", said Sara Ali, Children for Peace coordinator in HPI. "it is our duty to teach our children that environment must be their concern in these days, we have to leave a cleaner planet for them" said Douaa Amir, a Syrian Youth who volunteer with HPI.
Dr. Alsharif said he knows firsthand the role volunteerism can play in helping newcomers integrate. "I know how important it is to be a part of this community," he said.
Originally from Damascus, 14-year-old Hamza Mohammed Ali said joining fellow members of his community to help tidy up the park reminded him of being back home. "We're close to each other ... it's like [the] same in Syria" .
This activity is designed to send a message of hope and gratitude from them to local community and to engage the new comer in the volunteer work.