Syrian families in Waterloo Region to receive Ramadan gift baskets
'We wanted to give them something that would remind them of Ramadan in their homes,' oraganizer says
A Toronto charity hopes to make Syrian refugees in Waterloo Region feel at home as they celebrate their first Ramadan in a new country.
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Julie Mahfouz heads up The Clothing Drive, which has spearheaded a project to give Syrian families food hampers to celebrate the end of Ramadan on July 6.
"We wanted to give them something that would remind them of Ramadan in their homes, because this is the first Ramadan that they would be spending without their families," Mahfouz said.
Food and gifts
The hampers will contain foods familiar to the families, including lentils, bulgur and sweets called maamoul, and gifts for children.
Mahfouz said the end of Ramadan, which is called Eid, is comparable to Christmas.
Her group has already delivered hampers in Toronto, Hamilton and Burlington.
"With Kitchener, there isn't as large a support network as there is in, let's say, Toronto or Mississauga, when it comes to the Syrian families," she said.
Local volunteers will pack the baskets at the Great Hall at Conrad Grebel University College, and then deliver them on Saturday.
"When I deliver the packages, it'll be good to see the Syrian families," said Vithu Satkunarasan, a civil engineering student at the University of Waterloo. "The newcomers have lost everything. We want to show our support and welcome them at this difficult time of year."