U of Sask. medical students organize fundraising walk for Saskatoon refugee clinic

·2 min read
The Refugee Engagement and Community Health clinic in Saskatoon provides health care to newly arrived refugees.  (Kevin Hogarth/Submitted by Saskatoon Open Door Society - image credit)
The Refugee Engagement and Community Health clinic in Saskatoon provides health care to newly arrived refugees. (Kevin Hogarth/Submitted by Saskatoon Open Door Society - image credit)

Medical students with the University of Saskatchewan Globe Health Team are organizing a walk to raise funds for the Refugee Engagement and Community Health Clinic, REACH, in Saskatoon.

The clinic provides health care to refugees who have fled their home countries as they resettle in the city.

Dr. Jaclyn Hansen is one of the doctors with REACH, which opened in 2016.

"It's listening and letting them share their stories when they need to and being there, maybe to help guide them through the system," said Hansen.

Kevin Hogarth/Submitted by Saskatoon Open Door Society
Kevin Hogarth/Submitted by Saskatoon Open Door Society

The clinic requested funding from the government, but it was not granted.

Hansen said it has been a privilege to work with the refugees and that it has been "impactful".

With more refugees resettling in Saskatoon, especially from Ukraine, more people will need health care, she said.

"It is overwhelming to think about if there is a large surge of more refugees coming, how will we manage that?" said Hansen.

Leisha Grebinski/CBC
Leisha Grebinski/CBC

Mina Rezwani, a 19-year-old refugee who fled from Afghanistan six months ago, has been going to the clinic.

Rezwani has also been taking her mother, Ruqia Rezwani, to doctors appointments at REACH and acting as her interpreter.

In an interview with Saskatoon Morning's Leisha Grebinski, Rezwani said she and her parents have felt more "relaxed" since coming to Canada.

It's really hard to be in a country that you don't know anything. - Mina Rezwani, refugee from Afghanistan

Her parents are hopeful they will have a good future in Canada.

"In here, we have a good support of the government, economically, so it's good," said Rezwani.

Rezwani hopes to study law to become an immigration lawyer, and help refugees and immigrants like herself.

The fundraiser walk is scheduled to start at the bowl in the University of Saskatchewan on Friday at 5:30 p.m. CST.

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