We all watch with heavy hearts the humanitarian disaster unfolding as war grips Ukraine. To date, more than 3.6 million people have fled the violence, many of them women and children.
War, violence and abuses of human rights, whether in Canada or anywhere in the world, call on us to reflect on our humanity and ask how we can act in generosity and solidarity with those in need.
While many of us in Canada may be feeling powerless in the face of so much suffering, there are things we can do. Refugees and temporary residents from Ukraine will be arriving in Canada in the coming weeks and months and will immediately need safe and secure housing as well as essential support for their most basic needs, having experienced unimaginable trauma.
Over the years, McConnell has actively partnered with several organizations that assist refugees. The Welcome Collective, based in Montreal, and the Together Project, a Makeway initiative based in Toronto and offering services virtually, are both excellent resources that coordinate the settlement and integration of refugees and improve their well-being through connections with various community organizations to gain access to different services. The Canadian Council for Refugees is a national umbrella organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees and other vulnerable migrants in Canada and around the world, and World University Service Canada has a program dedicated to helping refugees continue their studies in Canada. We invite you to learn more about these organizations working to help displaced people in need of support.
Our hearts are also with the millions of people caught in the conflict zone in Ukraine. I wish to express our solidarity and support for those in this harrowing situation, and to all refugees and asylum seekers. I am also incredibly grateful to all the humanitarian aid workers who are risking their own lives to help save others.
To refugees and displaced persons arriving in Canada from Ukraine and elsewhere, we welcome you, and we wish you and your families peace and safety.
Lili-Anna Pereša C. Q., President and CEO