Afghan refugees treated for the holiday season – .

Afghan refugees treated for the holiday season – .

TORONTO – A group of Afghan refugees from the Toronto area got a taste of uniquely Canadian holiday shopping for the first time thanks to the generosity of donors.

At a Walmart store in Mississauga, Ontario, 100 Afghan refugees received $ 400 gift cards. It was an opportunity for these newcomers to stock up on essentials, since they have only been in Canada for a few months.

This initiative was made possible by Hamid Hakimi of Elite Developments, who pledged $ 200,000 to help Afghan refugees through shopping events like this, working with the Afghan Women’s Organization in Toronto.

“Today has been a truly heartwarming day for us,” Hakimi told CTV News.

For Hakimi, who also fled Afghanistan at the age of five with his parents, it was a chance for him to give back.

“We also came here as immigrants and refugees many, many years ago,” he said. “We know the hardships and challenges that each of them have faced, including ourselves, and just knowing that we can give back to those in the same position as us is great. “

For Hamid Ullah Noori, who arrived in Canada a month ago, Walmart gift cards allowed him to buy pillows, a mattress, furniture and appliances.

“It’s really important to us. When we arrived in Canada, we had nothing. We really need the basic needs, ”he said.

The children chose the toys well, with donors providing extra money for a few fun items. Others headed to the clothing aisles to prepare for their first Canadian winter. Jamil Alkozai, who worked in public affairs and communications at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, had to abandon all of his belongings when he fled.

“Everything is strange here, even the atmosphere. The weather is changing from minute to minute, ”he told CTV News.

It is a welcome support for families who have left a life behind. Hamid Sultani worked for 10 years as a security guard, driver and interpreter at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul before he and his family fled to Canada in August.

“Two days before the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, we came to Canada. I am so happy and I am so happy for the people of Canada, ”he told CTV News.


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