Edmonton newcomer youth from seven countries raised funds and assembled 131 hygiene kits for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) recently.
Families who have fled their homes due to war or disaster struggle to afford simple necessities that are vital to health, especially during the pandemic. Students could relate. The youth, who have mostly been living in Canada for less than five years, held two bottle drives in January and raised more than $1,100.
Due to COVID-19, the students were unable to meet in person to learn how to make the kit bags themselves, so seniors and Mennonite Voluntary Service Adventure volunteers from Holyrood Mennonite Church sewed the bags and ties.
Students who were part of the Civic Engagement by Newcomer Youth program at the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers purchased supplies and filled the bags. The 18 immigrant and refugee students who participated came from Syria, Congo, Liberia, Mexico, Burundi, South Sudan and Kenya.
Kits were delivered to the Edmonton MCC office on June 15.
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Two youth connectors from the Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers—Emmanuel Mbonimpa of the Congo, left, and Amena Shehab of Palestine, right—delivered 131 hygiene kits to the Mennonite Central Committee Alberta office on behalf of immigrant and refugee youth volunteering at the newcomers centre. Donita Wiebe-Neufeld, MCC Alberta’s development coordinator, centre, was on hand to receive the kits. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)