|Lifeline Syria photo|
There are many memories of his desperate escape from a chaotic Communist Vietnam nearly 40 years ago that haunt Kyanh Do.
Saying goodbye to his family at age 17, knowing he could die during the journey ahead.
Terrifying black nights on a tiny fishing boat during the four-day journey to Malaysia.
...The scarcity of water when he arrived at a refugee camp, and the sight of shell-shocked fellow countrymen shattered by robberies, rapes and assaults since leaving home.
“The major concern that we had then was we did not know what was going to happen to us,” says Do, who managed to secure sponsorship in Canada months later and now lives in Toronto and works as a chartered accountant.
It’s those memories that consume the 52-year-old Do as he reads stories about the current plight of displaced Syrians and what’s considered the largest refugee crisis since the Second World War.
...Do, president of the Vietnamese-Canadian group Voice Canada, which is spearheading the effort in tandem with Toronto settlement group Lifeline Syria.
A fundraising goal of $100,000 to sponsor three families has reached $80,000 and Do hopes to close the gap by the end of the month.
Fellow former refugee Tom Tang says it’s their turn to help those in need.
He will take charge of sponsoring a potential family of five and is shouldering the responsibilities with three friends — each former refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Tanzania.
Lifeline Syria recruits, trains and assists sponsor groups as they welcome and support 1,000 Syrian refugees coming to Canada as permanent immigrants to resettle in the GTA over the next two years.
The video below captures Syrian refugee children tobogganing for the first time in their new Canadian homeland.