Inspired to support those fleeing violence in Ukraine, the BC Vietnamese community – mobilized through eight community organizations – has come together to make an incredible contribution to UNHCR’s Ukraine response.
“As former Vietnamese Refugees and Boat People our community over 40 years ago lived through those nightmarish days in fear and uncertainty in various refugee camps throughout Southeast Asia, and we had been the recipients of UNHCR aid when we were most in need.
We feel it is our duty now to fundraise and assist UNHCR in their efforts to give Ukrainians an urgent lifeline, urgent medical aid, provide emergency relief, evacuation transport and bring food and shelter to those displaced civilians” – Tony Vuu, Community Organizer
Led by key members of the community, the following Vietnamese Canadian associations have collectively raised nearly $144,000 through their active outreach and community engagement:
- The Vietnamese Canadian Seniors Society of Greater Vancouver
- The Vietnamese Veterans Association in BC
- Vietnamese Martial Arts
- Lac Viet Public Education Society
- Viet BC Radio CFRO-Vancouver Co-op Radio
- Vietnamese Professionals Association of BC
- Vietnamese Women’s Society
- Vietnamese Air-Force Veterans Association
Starting out with a banquet dinner on March 25th that brought together around 500 guests and lasted late into the night, this group of motivated fundraisers has surpassed expectations and greatly contributed towards UNHCR’s efforts in Ukraine. On April 30th, Journey to Freedom Day, they concluded their campaign and the BC Vietnamese Group’s organizers presented UNHCR with a cheque. Journey to Freedom Day is a National Day of Commemoration for the exodus of Vietnamese refugees and their acceptance to Canada after the fall of Saigon on April 30th, 1975.
This major gift will have a direct impact on refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine and those displaced within, as UNHCR has been to date:
- Providing counselling and services including psychosocial support and legal aid, at border crossing points, online and in locations where people have fled.
- Progressively rolling out a large-scale cash assistance program to support displaced people to meet their immediate basic needs.
- Delivering essential items, food and shelter support to individuals and households, including in hard-to-reach areas with humanitarian convoys.
- Supporting local authorities in locations receiving internally displaced people to expand the capacity of reception centres and providing essential relief items.
We are so grateful and uplifted to see this incredible support from the Vietnamese diaspora and recognize that this also builds on a tradition of earlier support to Syrian refugees resettling to Canada. This compassionate generosity is an incredible statement of solidarity, and we celebrate Vietnamese Canadians for their strength, kindness, and goodwill.
For more information on this fundraiser: https://vietbcassociations.ca/
Or to learn more about UNHCR Canada: https://www.unhcr.ca/