British Columbia Muslims have made a donation to First Nations Emergency Services Society (FNESS) to provide culturally sensitive emergency support to the First Nations community of B.C. in response to the historic flooding the province recently faced.
The BC Muslim Association (BCMA), in collaboration with other faith based charities, including Human Concern International (HCI), IDRF, Penny Appeal, Islamic Relief Canada, Islam Unravelled, and Foundation for a Path Forward made a donation of $35,000 for FNESS to provide culturally sensitive emergency support to First Nations communities of B.C.
“The BC Muslim Association Emergency Response Team is coordinating a continuing Muslim community response to the historic flooding and damage that our province is facing,” said BCMA in a press release announcing the donation. “We are asking community members to donate generously, to support families who have lost everything and those who are still in danger.”
The FNESS Emergency Management (EM) department provides community-based emergency management guidance, support, and assistance to BC First Nations communities. The entire city of Merritt, population 7,000, was ordered to evacuate after flooding caused the failure of the municipality's wastewater treatment plant and many people found safety in Chilliwack.
“The support of the City of Chilliwack, and Mayor Ken Popove, is highly appreciated in both hosting the displaced communities and showing commitment to strengthening ties between all communities in Chilliwack, including the Muslims and Indigenous Peoples,” said BCMA in its press release.
The donation cheque was presented by BCMA President Asad Gondal, together with the VP Religious Services Sikandar Khan and the BCMA PR & Media Liaison team, Tariq Tyab and Yusuf Seraj on behalf of the BCMA and the Muslims of BC to the Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove and the First Nations Community.
“FNESS is making a big difference by responding immediately within First Nation communities when disasters strike and providing collaborative support,” said Islamic Relief Canada. “This includes emergency planning, training, response and recovery, as well as forest fuel and wildfire management. Their mission is to work closely with First Nations towards developing and sustaining safer and healthier communities.”
The BCMA is the largest Muslim organization in British Columbia. The 55-year-old organization has 17 branches across the province, supporting not only the Muslim community with cultural and religious support, but also the general public with humanitarian and cultural outreach.