Group urges Islanders to support Afghan refugees arriving in province

·1 min read
Craig Mackie is the executive director of the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada.   (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
Craig Mackie is the executive director of the P.E.I. Association for Newcomers to Canada. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

The P.E.I. Association of Newcomers to Canada is urging Islanders to support Afghans arriving in the province.

As of last Sunday, more than 2,200 refugees from Afghanistan had arrived in Canada. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, those refugees have relocated to all 10 provinces.

Craig Mackie, the association's executive director, said government-assisted refugees come from dire situations.

"You know, they've been shot at, they've possibly been bombed," he said. "They've likely seen bodies. These are people who've been through the worst."

Mackie said he can't speak about specific families arriving in P.E.I. for their safety.

"We have a duty to not only respect and protect their privacy, but in these situations, we also have to be aware that their safety and security needs to be protected."

Privately sponsoring a refugee

Islanders can privately sponsor a refugee, Mackie said.

"There are amazing groups of people who privately sponsor refugees," he said, pointing to the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program as an example.

Mackie's association can accept financial donations.

"We really can't handle donations of goods like clothing or furniture at this point, and we would ask people to donate that through other channels like the Salvation Army."

The money donated will be used to buy groceries, gift cards and other needs for refugees, he said.

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