Fort McMurray has had a strong multi-cultural side to it for decades. Our diversity has become even more pronounced in recent years as families have moved here from all over the world. A new social profit organization has emerged called The Canadian True Power (TCTP) focussing on helping with the settlement of Syrian refugees and assisting other new Canadian families. Amany Darwish is the President of TCTP. She was our guest on IMPACT on April 12th.
Created with generous assistance of community member, TCTP is actively involved in helping 8 Syrian families who have settled in our communities, consisting of 28 people. Beneficiaries of an unparalleled refugee resettlement effort being undertaken by the Canadian government, these families are feeling new hope and new life.
“What is the situation in Syria?” I asked Amany.
“It’s really very bad,” she said. “Houses bombed, whole buildings gone in seconds – with people inside; the situation is terrible. I hope we can sponsor more families.”
Their reactions to getting a fresh start in Fort McMurray are profound.
“They say ‘We have been newborn in Canada’,” shared Darwish on the weekly radio program heard on KAOS 91.1.
Originally from a small community in Egypt, Darwish spent a number of years in the United States before moving to Fort McMurray with her husband, a mechanical engineer. They have three grown children. She fell in love with the community the moment she saw it from the plane; in a sense, she felt like she was coming home – there were similarities to the place where she grew up in Egypt.
A group of over 20 ladies are actively involved with TCTP, raising funds through special events, creating hot lunches, and doing recycling drives. They may come from many different countries – Pakistan, Algeria and Palestine among them – but they have many things in common, including a longing to give back.
“I think when you have people with strong and generous hearts, that care for the community, you can communicate with anyone,” said Darwish. “If you focus and have the same goal, you’re all one person in the end.”
They have been emboldened by the support they have received from the community, including the lady from the bank who came to the door with a box full of donations.
“She normally sends donations over to Africa,” said Darwish. “But when she found out the kind of work we were doing locally, she wanted to help.”
Darwish credits the amazing energy and spirit of the ladies who are contributing to TCTP for the impact they’ve been able to make in a very short period of time.
“They all have sensitive hearts,” she said. “Any one of them, in seconds, would do anything to help.”
You can get in touch with The Canadian True Power by called 780-804-5450, like their Facebook page by clicking here, or follow them on Twitter @tctp_ymm. Their website will be operational soon at www.tctp.ca.
IMPACT is a collaborative project of The United Way of Fort McMurray, FuseSocial and KAOS 91.1.