LETTERS: Overseas crisis is our concern

Editor:

Re: White Rock suffers growing pains, Sept. 9 letters.

Editor:

I am alarmed with how our Canadian government has addressed – or more accurately, not addressed – the Iraqi/Syria migrants/refugees crisis for such a very long time.

Suddenly, with the scene of the young boy lying at the edge of the Aegean Sea, this tragedy is being noticed. Why is it, and has it, taken so long for the Western World to take some action? And, now that they have, could we not speed up the process, or does our government not have the will?

Sadly, I have noted that the current migrants seeking asylum in Germany and Austria appear to be families with babies and young children, and behind these families, a majority of healthy fit young men.

Where are the women? Have they been left in camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, or were they left in Syria? What is happening to these women and girls? Have they been left to the horrors of ISIS?

Christina MacLellan, White Rock

• • •

The photograph of the toddler, Alan Kurdi, lying dead on the beach in Turkey, has caused many over the past two weeks to ask how they can help refugees fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria.

I am writing to encourage people to be the change they want to see in the world.

There are many ways to help people in need at home in our communities and abroad.

The best way to help refugees abroad is to donate money to reputable organizations that are already on the ground providing assistance, such as the UNHCR, the Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres and UNICEF.

Alternatively, you may wish to support local organizations who help settle refugees, such as DIVERSEcity and MOSAIC.

At Crescent United Church, we have sponsored refugees over the years from Colombia, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Eritrea, and El Salvador. In response to the war in Syria, we are working on a joint refugee sponsorship amongst the three United Churches on Semiahmoo Peninsula and the White Rock Muslim Association. The White Rock Rotary Club has also provided support for this sponsorship.

Contact the offices at First United Church (604-531-4850) or Crescent United Church (604-535-1166) if you want more information on how to help. You may be surprised by what you receive in return.

Peter Jones, Crescent United Church