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Fundraisers this weekend will showcase the connection between Calgary and abroad

Calgary’s community is coming together this weekend in a variety of ways to help those in need locally and globally.

The Kensington Village in Calgary is hosting both a fundraiser and a welcome to Ukrainians to Kensington. A variety of businesses are participating by having a collection box in their shops, and all donations raised will be given to the Canada Ukraine Foundation.

The event will be from  Saturday, June 11 to Sunday, June 12 from 12 to 3 p.m.

Annie MacInnis the executive director of the Kensington Business Revitalization Zone said the Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) like Kensington are not just business districts. They are the living rooms and meeting places for many Calgarians, she said.

“During the pandemic, we learned just how important the work of BIAs is to Calgarians. Kensington events are branded ‘…in Kensington.'” Tomorrow it’s Ukraine Love in Kensington,
 said MacInnis.

A picture of Lucy, Annie MacInnis’ dog, the Executive Director of
Kensington Business Revitalization Zone. PHOTO COURTESY ANNIE MACINNIS

“The Kensington BIA prides itself on our engagement with our local Calgary community. When our BIA members got involved in hosting Ukrainian refugees we decided to help, too. We will be collecting donations tomorrow. Participating member businesses are offering treats and also accepting donations.”

Love for Ukraine in Kensington isn’t the only fundraiser happening this weekend.

Choir to warm the hearts

On Sunday, June 12, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. the Peace In Harmony Choir will be hosting an online event where children and youth from Calgary will be sharing their dances, singing, and music to support the education of three girls in Pakistan. They’re three girls aged between eight and 13 who are part of the Canadian Association for Children’s Education in Pakistan (CACEP).

CACEP is an international movement providing educational opportunities to children from fragile, conflict-affected areas of Pakistan. CACEP’s goal is to engage the whole community in the education and development of their children, said Aamir Jamal, social work professor at the University of Calgary and the president of the organization.

“There are two main purposes for this organization. One, supporting girls’ education in the wars and conflict-affected regions of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan. And two, engaging men in the community for gender justice and girl’s education,” said Jamal.

According to one of the members, University of Calgary social work professor, Liza Lorenzetti, there are more than 80 kids right now that the organization is supporting. They include children and their families in an area of Pakistan who have experienced difficulties due to war.

“Our objective is to support these kids to attend school, to be kids, to do the things that some of our kids take for granted,” said Lorenzetti.

The program is currently led by a multicultural group of Calgary parents and their children, according to Lorenzetti. She said bringing up kids to care for, engage and support, breaks down the boundaries between spaces and that’s what makes a whole nation different.

“At the fundamental level, we are human,” she said.

“Girls’ education is a foundational component of a peaceful and just society. We feel that engaging our own kids in being global citizen members and being part of peace building is one of our key objectives as parents.”

The fundraiser is hoping to raise an amount of $2,000 for the three girls. Anything else made will go right into the project.

“Taking good care of the wellbeing, the food nurturing of a child and their whole family is a holistic approach,” said Jamal.

How it works:

By sponsoring a child, one is committing 10 years where they will need to take care of the child and the well-being of her and her family.

“The way our diversity is fostered is through mutual understandings through care, through the idea that regardless of where we’re born, we are fully human and we need to look after one another,” said Lorenzetti.

Jamal said for the past 13 years CACEP’s cause is a humanitarian one in a globalized world.

This fundraiser and any fundraising event shows that regardless of the difference in culture, language, colour, and even the thousands of miles away, we are still connected.

“These little girls are thousands of miles away, but the Calgary community is embracing that as one family. So we are saying now in this initiative, that these are the children of Calgary,” said Jamal.