The Students’ Association has pledged an additional $10,000 to the $50,000 the Board of Governors has already committed to helping Syrian refugees attending Algonquin.
But with many Syrian refugees already on their way to Canada, however, there is more people can do besides donating money.
Louisa Taylor of 613 Refugee, an Ottawa group connecting people looking to help with resources, stresses the importance of doing more than just donating.
“Sponsorship is a great thing,” said Taylor. “But refugees also need people who will help them in the community, connect them with resources and help them get acquainted.”
While refugees from Syria are getting the most attention, the refugees everyone is seeing on television are from many different countries including Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Afghanistan and Eritrea that are all fleeing due one form or another of oppression and violence.
The Students’ Association said it is willing to help refugee students from other countries, should the need arise.
At the moment, the college has no indication that there will be any refugees arriving for the upcoming semester.
Taylor is often asked what can be done to help other than just donating money. Taylor stresses that with winter coming and many of these refugees arriving soon, they will need warm clothing.
Holding something as simple as a clothing drive can go a far way in helping the refugees that are already coming to Canada.
Students can assist in other ways. When refugees do arrive at the college, they will need help getting acclimated to life in Ottawa.
“Students can help in the future when we have [refugee] students,” said Sara Grainger, president of Algonquin’s Students’ Association. “They can help by just helping people get used to the city and the college.”