Local weather Justice Canada works to reunite Afghanistan refugee siblings in Saskatoon – Saskatoon

Climate Justice Canada is working to reunite Afghan refugee siblings in Saskatoon.

Camilla, an Afghan climate activist, arrived in Saskatoon successfully this July. Unfortunately, her brother’s journey has been much more difficult.

Targeted by the Taliban, the siblings attempted to make their way to Canada, but Ali, Camilla’s brother, was forced to hide in another country.

Climate Justice Saskatoon found out about Camilla through a group that attempts to aid climate activists in fleeing the country by finding them sponsors.

Camilla was an environmental engineering student nearing graduation when she was located.

“She is settling in, she is still very worried about her family, in particular, her brother Ali,” said Nathalie Baudais, Climate Justice Canada member.

Ali and Camilla were targeted for their religion and ethnicity. Additionally, Ali was targeted for being a martial arts athlete.

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“He does taekwondo and when the Taliban banned all of those activities, he was targeted as well for that reason. Hey escaped; it was a very arduous journey through Iran to get to where he is now, with no legal standing. So, he is at risk of being deported back to Afghanistan.”

Initial steps have been taken by Climate Justice Canada to bring Ali to the city.

“We’ve got a spot for him as a newcomer,” said Baudais, “and now we need to raise the money to show that we can support him for his first year after arrival.”

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Climate Justice Canada is aiming to raise $22,500.

“That will cover housing, food, utilities, all of his expenses when he arrives.”

Baudais said many have donated their $500 affordability checks to the cause.

Camilla and Ali’s last name was not disclosed for their own protection.

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The Saskatoon Open Door Society (SODS) is dedicated to making newcomers feel welcome and bringing a sense of belonging to people like Camilla and her brother.

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They say that challenges do not ease once a refugee lands in Saskatoon.

“Adapting to living in a new country, new culture, language, where newcomers have to start over and make all those connections, adapting to cold winters of the Prairies, challenges of finding adequate housing, meaningful jobs and making friends and finding a community, as well as reuniting with family and loved ones, as is the case with many refugees and displaced people,” Jean-Philippe Deneault from SODS listed as some of the most difficult challenges refugees face.

SODS provides newcomers with access to services such as schooling, health care, banks and recreational activities. It provides case management support, needs and language assessment, job readiness and family programming.

“SODS walks with newcomers and refugees every step of the way from their initial settlement to them becoming participating citizens of our society,” said Deneault.

“The community can play a role in all aspects of settlement and integration of newcomers to our community – financial contributions, volunteering, creating welcoming and inclusive community where newcomers feel they belong and hiring and mentoring newcomers.”

Click to play video: 'Saskatoon organization aiming to reunite Afghan refugees'

Saskatoon organization aiming to reunite Afghan refugees

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