On September 23rd at 3:00 p.m. a fundraising walk/ride will be held in Beavermead Park with all funds raised going to The Newcomers Mission. The Newcomers Mission (TNM) was founded in 2017 by Rani Ibrahim and St. Paul’s Presbyterian church to provide assistance to refugees arriving in Peterborough. TNM provides helps with navigating government paperwork, finding housing, English lessons, employment, social programs and just generally providing friendship and a warm welcome to our city. “Since its founding, TNM has helped over 300 people from Syria, Afghanistan and the Ukraine settle into their new Peterborough community,” says the mission’s sole employee Rani Ibrahim. “I know first-hand the challenges a newcomer faces when they arrive in Canada,” says Ibrahim, who arrived with his mother Dounia in 2016 as refugees from Lebanon. Rani derives much satisfaction in giving back to the Peterborough community who first embraced him. Rani also assists newcomers with the reunification of their families by assisting them in bringing their relatives and family members to Canada through private sponsorship.

The planned walk/ride on September 23rd is part of the nationwide “Ride for Refuge” event organized by the Blue Sea Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Kitchener, Ontario that helps charities raise funds. This will be the second year the Newcomers Mission has been selected as the Peterborough charity to benefit from the event. Last year the Newcomers Mission successfully raised $10,000 and this year has set a goal of $25,000. Ride for Refuge exists to help organizations who assist people displaced by war, natural disaster, religious violence and other forms of persecution.

St. Paul’s elder and co-organizer Sheryl Smith says there are several ways to be involved: “We invite members of the community to either form a team to participate, or join one of our existing teams. You can choose to either walk a 2.5 km or 5 km route or cycle 10 kms. Free light refreshments will be served afterwards in the pavilion at Beavermead Park.”