A shipping container filled with warm clothes for Syrian refugees is on the move again, after being stuck in Halifax when a shipper pulled out.
Mohamed Masalmeh’s Justice and Freedom for Syria gathered the winter clothes to send to some of the six million people displaced by the civil war. Many are in Turkey, which is enduring unusually cold and snowy conditions.
Masalmeh’s group packed the clothes into a shipping container, but the freight company backed out last week.
Peter Clark of Cyberfreight Systems Maritimes heard about the group’s struggle on CBC and stepped up. He found a willing shipping company in Hapag-Llyod.
“We're really fortunate,” Masalmeh said. “We're really glad we're going to be able to ship this and hopefully it will reach [them] in time. I know we had some delays, but it's better now than never.”
Masalmeh and four other volunteers braved frigid temperatures Friday night to move boxes into the new container.
"Being in this cold weather makes us appreciate how cold it is in Syria right now, how cold it is in Turkey, how cold it is for all those people who don't have blankets, who don’t have hats” he said.
“That makes us more determined to help them out. I've lost 180 people of my own family in this conflict."
He knows a simple winter coat could save a life.
The container should depart Halifax next week and arrive in the Middle East by March.