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VIDEO: Langley students spearhead ways to raise funds for Turkey/Syria earthquake relief

Some students have loved ones in the areas devastated by the Feb. 6 quake

Local student Aisha Ali comes from the region recently struck by strong earthquake Feb. 6 in Syria and Turkey.

The Grade 10 student at Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School came here in 2016 from Aleppo, Syria, but has many family members still in the earthquake zone in both Turkey and Syria.

“They’re all fine. They’re all good, but their houses, of course, it’s all gone,” she explained.

The 7.8 magnitude quake and strong aftershocks Feb. 6 have resulted in the deaths of at least 37,000 and massive destruction of buildings, roads and most infrastructure.

“I saw the situation, and I wanted to do whatever I could to help,” said Grade 11 student Jane Ladefoged.

She added that the scale of the disaster is unlike anything she’s seen in her life.

Ali and many others at her school decided they would do what they could to help with earthquake relief. A Friday, Feb. 10 bottle drive brought in more than $1,300 in donations and recyclables from within the school community. They continued with a Monday, Feb. 13 bottle drive where a steady stream of vehicles dropping off students also swung through the back parking lot to make donations.

The bottle drive was just the kickoff as students work together to find ways to help with earthquake relief. Throughout this week there are a variety of initiatives to boost donation totals.

“Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday we’ll be selling candy bags at lunch,” Jane Ladefoged. “We’ll be doing a free-throw contest at the senior night basketball game, and on Friday night, we’ll be doing a movie fundraiser. We’ll be selling popcorn, pops, and candy, that kind of stuff to raise money.”

Teacher Peter Ladefoged oversaw the students as they unloaded and sorted bottles and cans.

“It will go to the Humanitarian Coalition,” he explained.

The coalition is a group of 12 Canadian aid agencies that work together in times of disaster to provide help on the ground. The groups include CARE, Doctors of the World, Plan International, Oxfam Quebec, Action Against Hunger, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Humanity & Inclusion, Save the Children, Islamic Relief, Canadian Lutheran World Relieve, Oxfam Canada, and World Vision.

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• READ MORE: Thousands displaced by earthquake in Turkey and Syria

• READ MORE: Devastation in Turkey and Syria a lesson for B.C.

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Jhanvi Grewal, a Grade 8 student, stopped by to drop off empties as part of the earthquake relief fundraising at Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
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Under a winter morning sun on Monday, Feb. 13, Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary students such as Layal Alaloul helped at a bottle drive fundraiser for earthquake relief. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
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Students Emma Saran (left) and Wissam Barsan (right) worked with teacher Peter Ladefoged to raise money to help earthquake victims in Turkey and Syria. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)


Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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