31 Division and CPLC youth help refugees

Photo of the blog author By Ron Fanfair,
Toronto Police Service
Published: 2:50 p.m. April 21, 2016

Members of 31 Division Community Policing Liaison Committee executive (CPLC) and youth sub-committees extended a helping hand to recently arrived Syrian refugees.

Man in a police officer looks over a room full of children
Const. Amir Butt helped organize the interactive educational activities
  • Man in a police officer looks over a room full of children
  • Several children and adults in a room
  • Large group of children and adults sitting at tables writing or painting

Almost 500 of the newcomers were placed at the Toronto Plaza hotel, shortly after their arrival late last year.

“When we realised that almost half of them were children, we knew we had to do something,” said Constable Amir Butt.

“They are no different from their Canadian counterparts and they are full of life and energy. However, the limited facilities and confinement in the hotel, due to the weather, caused some difficulty and anxiety among the group.”

Butt and Anar Mehrraliyev of the CPLC sub-committee met with COSTI Immigrant Services officials to address the situation.

“A decision was made to organize interactive educational activities for the young people,” said Butt.

On March 30, a total of 28 CPLC volunteers provided 70 youths with educational tutoring.

“The activities provided the refugees with the ability to express themselves and become involved in the activities of the community,” Butt added.

“The CPLC youth sub-committee members were very enthusiastic and highly motivated to interact with the children and youths.”

Inspector Riyaz Hussein praised his officers and CPLC youth members for reaching out to the refugees.

“I am sure their recent arrival is accompanied with a host of change and upheaval,” he said.

“Youth can relate to youth, regardless of cultural backgrounds. Thus, anything our CPLC youth sub-committee can do to help facilitate their adjustment to Canadian culture is a positive.”

The interactive tutoring will continue until the refugees are located to a permanent residence.

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