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Ride for Refugees makes a stop in Hamilton three are riding their bikes and sharing their stories along the route.

Starting in Windsor, an entry point for so many people trying to claim the safety of living in Canada, they hope to ride over 2500 kilometers around Ontario and into Montreal in two weeks. 2500 km, the distance a person displaced in Darfur would travel before reaching safety in Egypt, or an Iraqi fleeing war and insurgents would travel to the capital of Syria to seek resettlement. Just a small step on the refugee highway for some of the over 30 million people displaced in our world. On their stop in Hamilton, they shared their experiences on the route which including missing a falling tree by a couple of feet, facing high winds, tornados but most memorable were the people they met on tour, the lack of awareness in the places they stopped and the great reception they got from communities they visited. The tour has brought the three even closer and has started changing their lives as well. “Its not about rich Canadians helping refugees” said Steve “it’s about understanding that these people are here to stay and they are an important part of our society.”

Leo shared his personal struggles as a new immigrant from a refugee background and how even now he faces challenges for who he is. His story about a local housing provider trying to play unfair and exploit his newcomer status for financial gain demonstrated what new immigrants of a refugee background have to put up with. “My case is now in court and I am

not settling for less than justice, because it’s situations like this that raise awareness about challenges for refugees, even after they find refuge”, he added. Mark decided to do the tour after developing a friendship with Leo through volunteering to coach a newcomer youth soccer team. Having worked in different countries on refugee issues, Mark didn’t feel confident that he knew much about refugee experience and he wouldn’t bike the distance without his newfound buddy. So Leo gets to ride in the van and share the refugee perspective on tour while Mark and Steve sweat in love and grow as they raise awareness and funds for CURE Canada, an organization Leo founded to help refugees in Canada and Africa. The ride Tour has been completed. Visit to read about the exercise and to make your donations to a worthy cause. Thanks to all our supporters for helping to raise awareness about the plights of Refugees the world over.

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Karen Refugees

World Refugee Day June 20

The United Nations General Assembly designated 20 June 2000 as World Refugee Day to recognize and celebrate the contribution of refugees throughout the world. The date of June 20 was chosen to coincide with Africa Refugee Day. The first World Refugee Day was celebrated in 2001. Since then, World Refugee Day has become an annual commemoration marked by a variety of events in over a hundred countries. This year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will commemorate World Refugee Day for the fourth time with the inspirational theme: “To Feel at Home,” in order to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees world-wide who are forced to flee their homes. Photo Taken By Margaret Aguirre

Canadian Multiculturalism Day The Government of Canada announced on November 13, 2002, the Canadian Multiculturalism Day which will be held on June 27, every year, in the context of Celebrate Canada. The celebration gives every Canadian and even new comers to Canada, an insight into the greatness of this nation, brought about by the tireless efforts of various communities and individuals from diverse background. In deed, June 27 is a celebration of Canada’s richness and diversity.

June was Seniors’ Month

Theme: Discover the Possibilities June is Seniors’ Month, an opportunity for all Ontarians to recognize and value the contributions made by seniors every day in communities across the province. This year’s theme is Discover the Possibilities was kicked off in Niagara-on-the-Lake with the launch of the website. The website will make it easier for seniors to access local information, programs and services from all levels of government. Seniors’ Month is an annual celebratory tradition in which the contributions of seniors are acknowledged and honoured throughout the province. Seniors account for approximately 13 per cent of Ontario’s current population. Seniors’ Month events include award ceremonies, recognition events, socials and seniors’ information fairs. Ontario is one of the best places in the world to grow old. Ontarians across the province are encouraged to join in the celebrations taking place in their local community to recognize and thank older Ontarians who have worked hard and continue to contribute to the prosperity that we all enjoy today. (From:

conditions in Mae La Oon that the UNHCR has pushed for group resettlement from Thailand as a matter of priority The camps are remote and isolated, so placed, to ensure that the refugees do not spill out of the camps and flood into Thai towns and cities. Life in the camps is basic and harsh. Within a two week period in the fall of 2006 RAP Hamilton received 62 BurmeseKaren GARs. The family combinations were mixed with couples, single parent and young singles and older singles. Approximately 40% of the groups were children. In the Picture (Page 1) we see the first Karen Family who arrived on September 12, 2006

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June-July 2008 • Vol 1 • Issue 8-9


Protest for Prisoner In China Open to mothers registered in LINC or I-WORK this summer. “Using the power of the pen to facilitate smooth int...


Protest for Prisoner In China Open to mothers registered in LINC or I-WORK this summer. “Using the power of the pen to facilitate smooth int...