Steelworkers Humanity Fund Supports Syrian, Burundian Refugees

"Canada must play a leadership role in responding to the global refugee crisis," says Humanity Fund President Ken Neumann.

TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2015 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers (USW) members across Canada are helping to support refugees fleeing conflicts in Syria and Burundi.

"The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is providing $140,000 in funding to support refugees from Syria and Burundi," said Ken Neumann, President of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund, a charity supported by donations from USW members.

"The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is making $100,000 available to sponsor Syrian refugees for resettlement in Canada. The Humanity Fund also is contributing $40,000 to Oxfam Canada's emergency relief efforts for Burundian refugees," Neumann said.

"Conflicts are forcing refugees to flee their homes in different parts of the world. Canada can and must play a leadership role in responding to the global refugee crisis," he said.

"Thanks to the generosity of members of the Steelworkers union, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is pleased to be able to provide support for refugees from Syria and Burundi."

In addition to the Steelworkers Humanity Fund's contributions, USW members and union locals across Canada will be encouraged in coming days to make further donations to support Syrian refugees, Neumann added.

Syrian Refugee Support

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund has set up a Syrian Refugees Sponsorship Assistance Program, with support between $5,000 and $10,000 available per refugee family.

Funding applications can be made by community groups, 'groups of five' sponsors, existing private sponsorship agreement holders and Steelworkers' local unions and area councils. Groups requesting support must include at least one USW member or retiree.

Groups considering refugee sponsorship should contact the Steelworkers Humanity Fund at 416-544-5994, or humanityfund@usw.ca, or Steelworkers Humanity Fund, Suite 800, 234 Eglinton Avenue East, Toronto, M4P 1K7.

Burundian Refugee Support

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is supporting the efforts of Oxfam Canada at the Tanzania Nyaragusu Refugee Camp for refugees from Burundi. Oxfam Canada is working with local partners to provide clean water and safe sanitation, promote hygiene and offer employment opportunities to improve food and livelihood security.

Steelworkers Humanity Fund

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization founded in 1985 in response to the Ethiopian famine, which touched Canadians of all walks of life, similar to today's Syrian refugee crisis.

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund focuses primarily on development projects and emergency aid in developing countries, but also supports Canadian communities in crisis. United Steelworkers (USW) members contribute to the fund through their wages, via clauses negotiated into collective agreements. In some cases employers make matching contributions.

SOURCE Steelworkers Humanity Fund

For further information: Ken Neumann, Steelworkers Humanity Fund President, 416-544-5951; Doug Olthuis, SHF Executive Director, 416-544-5957, dolthuis@usw.ca; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca; Melanie Gallant, Media Relations, Oxfam Canada, 613-240-3047, Melanie.Gallant@oxfam.ca, (for information on Burundi refugee support).


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