Crying child with hand all around him pointing fingers - meant to represent Xenophobia

03 April 2020

Rebecca is the mother in the family of six who I’m trying to help come to Canada. Why am I helping? Because her life has been so incredibly unfair, and she and her family deserve better. (see Rebecca’s Story).

Rebecca recently introduced me to the popular messaging platform, “What’s App.”

Last week she sent me an audio recording that was broadcast to users in her region, the Kwazulu Natal province of South Africa. At about 2 minutes in, we hear the xenophobia. The speaker is spreading the idea that Coronavirus does not exist, and implores people to to demand that the government deal with the “real threat” and remove foreigners from South Africa.

What’s App Broadcast, advocating that Coronavirus is not real, and that foreigners be removed from South Africa

Last month Rebecca sent me a different recording (below, in French) that warns Congolese people that they should expect attacks to descend upon the schools attended by Congolese children. Terrifying!

Imagine this being your “normal” life.

I feel very fortunate to have been born in Canada and to have had a really wonderful life so far. Thank you mom, dad, friends, neighbours, and Canada!

I write this piece at a point in time when just about no one is living life as usual. We are about a month into the COVID-19 Global Pandemic, and it has touched nearly every country on earth. As much as Canadians are feeling the fear, anxiety and uncertainty that comes with COVID-19, can you imagine all these feelings plus being the target of xenophobic sentiment like Rebecca and her family are?

Right now, our borders are closed, but when they open again, I want – more than anything – to be able to welcome this family to Canada.

Would you like to help? It’s easy to do a little or do a lot . Please explore these options and join me in getting ready to welcome them.

Thank you!

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