HALIFAX – Social media has proven to be a useful tool for groups wishing to lend a helping hand tho Syrian refugees making Nova Scotia their new home.
Basim Sobeih is the director for “United for One’, a group formed to help refugees integrate into the Halifax community, and said Facebook has been useful in helping them connect incoming families with support around the city.
“We’ve used Facebook which has brought a lot of attention,” said Basim Sobeih.
The Alhabash arrived in Halifax on Thursday of last week, and since them, United For One has helped them transition to their new city.
They’ve introduced them to members of the local Muslim community and raised money to help with their needs.
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The group is now hoping to sponsor five Syrian families of their own.
“We have been getting a lot of volunteers, lots of calls of donations,” Sobeih, adding that he attributes the groups success to the use of social media.
“Through social media and through our Facebook account we have been getting non-stop emails, messages saying ‘this is my name, this is my contact number, this is what I can provide.’”
They have been receiving offers of everything from translation to babysitting services.
A shining example
Giles Crouch is the managing partner at Thistlewood digital research firm. He says social media is playing a key role for community groups like United For One to organize the arrival of over 25,000 refugees to Canada over the next few months.
“This makes things a lot faster in order to communicate and they can coordinate the right message and they can garner great support within the local community to get furniture, clothing, money and whatever is needed for that family.”
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Crouch calls United For One a shining example. The group is now working to coordinate their social media offers into a volunteer list. The list that will be based on location in order to connect the offers and services to where Syrian families will be based around Halifax.
“Without it they just couldn’t bring it together as fast as they have been able to do,” said Crouch.