Tri-Cities Friends of Refugees member, Joan Wright turned her vision into a reality, a true team effort with Northside Foursquare Church and Coquitlam’s Mayor, Richard Stewart. Together they created a moving experience for all involved as Joan expressed, "Our SOUFRA event on May 4th in Coquitlam was amazing! There were about 100 attendees... perfect for the venue. Syrian women and one male cooked a fabulous meal that was loved by all."
Tri-Cities Friends of Refugees focuses their effort on helping refugees navigate the various aspects involved in the transition to life in Canada, a process that is unique to each family.
Joan took part in the SOUFRA screening at Simon Fraser University and fell in love with the message of possibility that was expressed as Mariam and the refugee women of SOUFRA dared to pursue what many believed to be impossible. Led by her compassion, Joan was inspired to share this story with the Syrian families she has helped through Tri-Cities Friends of Refugees, while promoting awareness and understanding of the refugee journey to the greater Vancouver area.
One evening, as Joan was sharing her vision for SOUFRA with Mayor Richard Stewart, his heart was deeply touched as he generously offered to sponsor the entire event. Mayor Stewart, a very active member in the Syrian refugee community, continues to use his leadership to help with their transition, making Coquitlam a welcoming and safe home to all. Completing the team is Northside Foursquare Church, providing the venue for everyone to gather. Throughout the year, they offer a wide variety of programs for the Syrian youth, using the event proceeds to continue those efforts.
In addition to the screening, traditional Syrian food will be prepared by the talented Syrian women of the Tri-Cities area. As they showcase their culture through their passion for cooking, Joan will share their individual journeys, stories of true resilience and grace.
We are so grateful for the beautiful collaborations of kindness that continue to lead to such powerful events such as this one. By bridging cultures through breaking bread, we create a deeper experience of connection, seeing the common thread uniting us all…the human bond.