Communique #16 — Community Life
National Chairperson of Community Life Faith Anderson, February 13, 2023
Aid for Türkiye and Syria
There is a desperate need for funding due to the earthquake that struck southern Türkiye on February 6th. Since the earthquake and its hundreds of aftershocks, tens of thousands of people have been killed and many more injured. There is an urgent need for funding to help people affected by the earthquakes survive this crisis and begin their recovery. As Catholics and Living It!, members may want to contribute to the urgent need for support and recovery efforts. Please share this information with your diocesan counterparts and encourage them to remind members to be mindful of vetting the organization(s) they wish to support. Some organizations providing support are listed below:
- Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a February 10th news release, “Bishops and Catholic Organizations in Canada launch Turkey/Syria Earthquake Emergency Aid Campaign.” For complete information, visit cccb.ca/media-release/bishops-and-catholic-organizations-in-canada-launch-turkey-syria-earthquake-emergency-aid-campaign/.
- Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) | cnewa.org
CNEWA is assisting on-the-ground partners in Syria and Türkiye to provide bedding, food, medicine, milk, nursing formula and diapers to more than 2,000 families seeking emergency shelter.
- Development and Peace Caritas Canada | devp.org/en
Carl Hétu, executive director of D&P, has advised that the organization “has pledged $50,000 to start and will increase as we are getting donations… Funds received will be used in the coming days and in the coming months for food, medical supplies, shelter and other basic essential needs. These funds will also serve to meet long term needs to help families go back to a more stable life.”
- International Rescue Committee (IRC)
The IRC is launching an integrated response to support affected communities in both countries. For more information, visit rescue.org/article/how-help-after-syria-turkey-earthquake.
- American Red Cross
Red Cross and Red Crescent responders are onsite providing blood, food, shelter, medical care, emergency aid supplies and mental and emotional support to people in need. Learn more about its efforts at redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2023/red-crescent-teams-responding-to-earthquake-in-turkey-and-syria.html.
All donations will support relief and recovery efforts in the region(s) affected by this specific disaster. The most urgent and immediate needs, including the provision of shelter, medical care, food and clean water, will be provided through the fund. Once the initial relief work is complete, donations will be allocated for longer-term recovery efforts—primarily led by local organizations.
Human Trafficking: I’m Worth It Now (IWIN)
I’m Worth It Now (IWIN) is an initiative co-founded in Calgary by the Catholic Women’s League of St. Michael Parish Council and a Calgary police detective actively working with survivors of human trafficking. Formed in 2019, IWIN is a registered charity and has grown to assist non-profit agencies in two provinces with a vision of expanding further. IWIN has two main goals: to raise awareness about the atrocities of human trafficking in Canada and to provide backpacks of essential items to trafficking survivors who have entered an exit program. Backpack items consist of clothing, toiletries, a card of encouragement and a unique bracelet matching that given to an anonymous prayer ‘warriors.’
IWIN’s success is attributed to the participation of the various groups that have committed to raising funds to help IWIN with its goals, with the largest group being the combined League diocesan councils of Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon.
If you would like more information about IWIN or to book a presentation via Zoom or in person, email email@example.com or visit iwininitiative.ca. Please ask your diocesan counterparts to encourage members to follow IWIN on social media @iwin_initiative (Instagram) and facebook.com/iwincalgary (Facebook).
Development and Peace—Caritas Canada
Development and Peace included a message in its February 9th online newsletter about its partnership with the League and its 1% Program and offered information on League membership. This is yet another way the League engages in its partnership with Development and Peace. To read the article, visit devp.org/en/blog/a-strong-and-old-bond/.
Please direct this communiqué to parish councils through your diocesan counterparts. There are many ways that members can be Catholic[s] and Living It! and as the League prayer indicates, “share with others at home and abroad, the good things You have given us.”
National Chairperson of Community Life