Sandra Chevrier/World Vision
Chris Wattie / Reuters
Lina's life as a refugee has been fraught with loneliness and fear. Her journey began with the murder of her father.
Unfortunately, this is merely the latest chapter in what appears to be a recurring problem for the Trudeau administration.
Without options to excel outside of the household, many girls are kept silent and their needs are left unaddressed. Unfortunately, gender and age make refugee girls vulnerable to unique and especially dangerous challenges. Some are forced into child marriage in an effort to escape starvation for themselves or their families, often with older men.
Through encounters like this one with Aysha, I have seen firsthand that all mothers have the same dreams for their children. We want them to be safe, happy and successful, and that hope doesn't change even if your circumstances are difficult. If anything, it may even become more important.
"I thank God that I've been accepted to stay in Canada."
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"People forget the resilience; [refugees] are human beings that have survived."
Chris Wattie / Reuters
Because of the cuts in previous years, many walk-in clinics, pharmacies and specialists continue to deny services to refugees and refugee claimants based on the false assumption that they are not covered.
Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
UNICEF says 96,000 unaccompanied children claimed asylum in Europe in 2015.
They allegedly charged as much as US$300 for a ride to the Canadian border.
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"All we're asking today is that people come to Canada legally."
Hiroshi Watanabe via Getty Images
"Raising the age of dependents lets more families stay together."
dinosmichail via Getty Images
We are presented opportunities everyday to make a difference in the lives of those around us, near or far, through our actions, time, or money. Whether we embrace that opportunity is up to us and, evidently, even the smallest of gestures or actions can veritably snowball into lasting results.
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In the autumn of 2015, folks at my church got very excited about the opportunity to sponsor refugee families from Syria. Plans were made, funds raised, paperwork submitted - and at one point, an apartment was rented. And then, we waited... and waited. Finally, a Syrian family arrived that our parish could sponsor - in March 2017.
"Philoxenia" is a word that encapsulates the concept of showing love, compassion, and hospitality toward strangers. While I often hear the term "xenophobia," (fear of the strangers) I had never heard an antonym for it. Philoxenia is just that. I would love to see "philoxenia" become as commonly used (and practiced) among us as it's opposite. It's what the world needs now!