“The person who lends to Allah, a good lending will receive many times more” – 2:245
It is estimated that up to half a million afghans will flee the current crisis in Afghanistan. The Canadian government has committed to accepting 40,000 of these vulnerable Afghan refugees. ~13,000 have already arrived. Many of the refugees arriving are in urgent need of support services and healthy food that caters to their specific cultural dietary needs. These funds would help in scaling up essential food assistance and prepackaged hampers specifically targeting the thousands of newly arrived Afghan refugees in BC.
Food hampers are distributed through our community-driven foodbank, which has over the past decade became an integral part of the local food system catering to ~4k individuals monthly and working with dozens of partners. Many of the refugee children arriving struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder from living in a war-torn country and have spent prolonged periods in overcrowded camps. Food scarcity for these children often have long-term effects, producing anxiety, feelings of helplessness and flashbacks that can result in disastrous consequences. Food security is essential to integration, employment opportunities, mental wellness and health, if not properly addressed the strain on diverse local systems can be immense. The emergency hampers would take care of the refugees’ critical needs as they persevere through the toughest months of this transition.
In addition to meeting their immediate needs, MFBCS will also focus on addressing the long-term needs of Afghan refugees through our social service programs, namely the ASPIRE Caseworker Program and our in-house Mental Health Services. Through the former, individuals and/or families will be paired with an ASPIRE Caseworker who will work directly with them to address any settlement needs and connect them to appropriate community resources. Through the latter, they will have access to MFBCS’ team of specialized, culturally-sensitive counselors.
MFBCS has specialized experience working with thousands of refugees from war-torn areas. We have served ~80% of Syrian government assisted refugees settling in BC during the civil war in a holistic way that combined access to culturally appropriate food assistance as well as social services grounded in trauma-informed practices. We expect that the impact for the Afghan refugees will be even greater given our increased capacity over the years.
Without generous community members like yourself none of this work is possible.