Scrabble for refugees

Play Scrabble, help refugees.

The Central Okanagan Refugee Committee is hosting a Scrabble fundraiser March 8, in support of upcoming refugee sponsorships.  

The tournament will be held at First United Church on Bernard Avenue, and will raise funds to support two sponsorships for members of the LGBT community, two family reunifications, and a family escaping persecution in Yemen.  

Canada Reads contender Sharon Bala, author of The Boat People, will be guest speaker at the event and will providing a reading and reflection from her novel about the 2009 Sun Sea Tamil refugees who arrived on Vancouver shores.

Mohammad Al Shahoud and his wife, Sara, arrived in Kelowna in 2015, having left Syria in 2011. With little English to start, the couple will now be competing in the Scrabble evening.  

“People helped me without even knowing me, my wife and I were inspired to help others," said Mohammad.

Anas Qartoumeh, also sponsored by CORC, is currently the tournament’s highest pledge collector. An LGBT man in Syria, Qartoumeh lived his entire life ashamed of his identity. “I came to Canada and realized that I was worthy. The life I lived before was not me. Now I am free to just be me.”

There is no cost to play, but CORC appreciates participants collecting pledges. Register or donate here.

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