Some 360,000 people in Afghanistan have been uprooted from their homes by conflict since January, and an additional 30,000 are reportedly fleeing the country each day. Afghanistan has already produced the second-largest displaced population in the world, after Syria, and this number is expected to rise.
Over the years, Umoja has opened wide our arms and our doors to Afghan families and we will continue to be a place of hope, safety and support for any newcomers arriving from Afghanistan as well as other parts of the world where individuals and families have no option but to flee their homes.
In an effort to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan, the Canadian Government has announced the resettlement of up to 20,000 vulnerable Afghan nationals to Canada. The Canadian government has responded to this crisis with the following statement: “Offering refuge to the world’s most vulnerable speaks to who we are as Canadians, particularly in times of crisis. As more Afghan refugees continue to seek shelter in Canada, we’re redoubling our efforts to help 20,000 Afghans refugees—who remain vulnerable wherever they go—find safety here. The situation in Afghanistan is heartbreaking, and Canada will not stand idly by…Canadians are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan….Afghans have put their lives at great risk to support Canada in helping Afghans achieve significant democratic, human rights, education, health and security gains over the past twenty years. We owe them a debt of gratitude and we will continue our efforts to bring them to safety.”
If you are interested in partnering together with Umoja to welcome and support newcomers, please send us an email or contact our office.
Seven percent of Surrey residents, or approximately 35,000 people, report that they sometimes or often do not have enough food to eat and nearly 80% of Surrey residents are not getting the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Umoja’s Seeds of Change Food Box Program is a collaborative approach to supporting newcomers with fresh, healthy produce and culturally appropriate grocery items.
Umoja works to alleviate food insecurity and diet challenges immigrants face in Canada. The Consideration of cultural impacts is often overlooked as a factor in health and wellbeing.
Lack of food familiarity can cause hunger, health and safe food issues to go unnoticed. Food security initiatives for newcomers would indeed benefit from building on newcomer strengths, including traditional dietary practices, first language resources and familiarity with established organizations such as Umoja.
“Fifty percent of participant households experienced food insecurity, while 41% of children were food insecure. high level of food insecurity contributes to poor diet quality and the rise in overweight and other chronic health conditions and therefore to the loss of healthy immigrant status.” Canadian Centre for Health Information
Thanks to our eight year partnership with a local non-profit A Rocha, our collaborative work has allowed us to support Umoja families in learning about foods in Canada, connecting families to gardening, and providing organic vegetable bins every year. This impactful partnership ensures Umoja’s clients are provided fresh, colorful, organic produce. The generosity of our community’s donations and constant support allows us to supply our families with healthy vegetables like beets, cilantro, scallions, zucchini, basil and leafy greens.
Our weekly classes often help with information, skills training and food access for families.
When providing a variety of culturally sensitive programs we believe it is important to provide learning opportunities for newcomer families to discover what at first may be unfamiliar foods, to new learnings with new foods to try and use at home. Food changes are a big part of integrating successfully into any new social environment.
Our staff and volunteers are committed to seeing newcomers succeed and achieve their potential. We all share a passion at Umoja to stand beside newcomer families during their settlement journey and to see families happy, healthy and thriving.
Your support will help us to achieve this mission. Thank you!
JOIN US!! We welcome you to join us on October 23rd at 6:30pm to learn more about the work of Umoja, with guest speakers and entertainment! While we cannot be together in person this year we still want to provide an opportunity of connection and community around the work of Umoja in supporting Newcomers who are settling in the community.
We will be sending out special cooking videos before the event so that you are able to make a tasty dish in the comfort of your home to enjoy during the event. We want you to enjoy the evening, pour a glass of wine, and be a part of a wonderful opportunity to come alongside the work of Umoja!
We may not be able to be together in person this year, but we are STILL UNITED AS ONE.
We would like to thank our event sponsors:
- Kwantlen Polytechnic University
- Surrey Honda
- Surrey Board of Trade
Tickets by donation, whatever the heart can give!
Register Online HERE