The second annual PWRDF Wild Ride in support of work with refugees and internally-displaced persons in countries such as Tanzania, South Sudan, Jordan, and Ukraine, began on World Refugee Day, June 20th. It runs until Thanksgiving Day, October 9th. If you haven’t registered a team or supported an existing one yet, there is still time. Let’s make a difference in the lives of others over the next month!
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in 2023 approximately 177 million people—more than three times the population of Canada—will be forced to leave their homes or countries. It is the highest number in history. The journey to safety can often be very perilous, all-too-frequently meeting a tragic end. According to the United Nations International Organization for Migration, migrant deaths in the Central Mediterranean hit a six-year high in 2023.
“The majority of refugees are…living in exile for more than five years, and often decades,” says Carolyn Cummins, PWRDF’s Director of Fundraising and Supporter Relations. “The number of refugees in need of resettlement to another country has increased significantly, but unfortunately only a fraction will ever be offered an opportunity to relocate to countries such as Canada. The rest remain displaced, mostly in low to middle income countries which do not have the resources to care for their needs. PWRDF partners [such as the Act Alliance, the Anglican Alliance, and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank] are caring for displaced individuals and families with support for income generation, improved food security, medical care, counselling, and more.”
Naba Gurung, Humanitarian Response Coordinator at PWRDF, reports that many refugees at the Nyorugusu Camp in Tanzania have been there since the 1990s and know no other life. The camp is underfunded and overcrowded, and currently filled to three times its capacity.
The fundraising goal for the 2023 Wild Ride is $50,000. You can register a team, register as an individual, or donate to an existing team or individual. Or just simply “donate now”! There is at least one team registered from our province so far, Book-lovers with Heart, (https://www.canadahelps.org/s/nMCxZf). If you form a team, how you raise the money is completely up to you. You can walk, run, cycle, bake cakes to sell, or anything you please. As the campaign says, “Put your stamp on it!”
Especially as we lead up to Thanksgiving, participating in this campaign would be a wonderful way to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives, especially those of us who have the luxury of living in our homeland, free of the fear of violence and persecution. Check out the website (https://pwrdf.org/wild-ride), speak to your rector or parish PWRDF representative, and let us push this Wild Ride right over the finish line.
PWRDF Materials for you:
Did you know that PWRDF has printed materials available to every parish each year? Make your PWRDF awareness/fundraising events more informative and inviting with specially-created brochures, bulletin covers, laminated placemats, bookmarks and donation envelopes. You can download and print your own or order them for delivery straight from PWRDF on the downloadable order form: https://pwrdf.org/get-involved/resources/annual-resources/. Then, plan your special PWRDF Sunday or other event.
Your support of PWRDF is an excellent way to give life to at least three of the promises of our Baptismal Covenant:
• Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbour as yourself;
• Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being; and
• Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth.
Whether you participate in this year’s Wild Ride or plan your own unique fundraiser, please continue to support the work of PWRDF through your prayers and your donations as we work towards a truly just, healthy and peaceful world.