Skip to main content

Calgary Islamic School students help raise $67K to help earthquake victims in Turkiye and Syria

Share

Students at Calgary Islamic School have raised thousands of dollars to help earthquake victims in Turkiye and Syria.

Two major earthquakes and several aftershocks in early February left more than 50,000 people dead and millions displaced.

It hits close to home for Grade 3 student Hamza Kadouri.

"I got very sad about the people who died and my grandma is also living in Syria, but she never died," he said.

Shortly after the earthquakes, Nancy Ferris, a kindergarten teacher at Calgary Islamic School, decided to team up with Islamic Relief Canada on a fundraiser for emergency relief efforts.

The initial goal was $7,500.

"At the time, I was like, well, this is going to be a little bit difficult, but that's OK," Ferris said.

"Whatever we get, you know, even if it's $2,000, $3,000, it's helping somebody, it's helping families."

However, in just four days, the students raised nearly double the goal, with $13,000. From there, it snowballed to more than $67,000.

"We were all just absolutely blown away and so touched by the way that our school community came together in the short amount of time to support these people that were in such desperate need," Ferris said.

Ferris has led other fundraising initiatives with the school in the past, including for the people of Yemen.

"That's what kind of helped me to continue to do this work is the students and their care and their compassion and their generosity," she said.

The money for this latest fundraiser came in all forms; from students' piggy-bank savings to lunch money and donations from family.

"People right now in the world don't have houses, don't have food, don't have water, and they're struggling, so I know that I should help," said Zaid Mian, a Grade 7 student.

Fariza Saif, another Grade 7 student, says it feels good to help out.

"In the end, it doesn't matter how much you give, it just depends on the thought behind it and overall, your intention," she said.

"These kids made waves. They made an impact and for us at Islamic Relief, it inspired all of us," says Kohawar Khan, Alberta regional fundraising manger for Islamic Relief Canada.

The generosity comes as the holy month of Ramadan begins.

“It is very, very important in our faith that we give back because we’re all interconnected,” said Hanan Haydar, vice-principal of Calgary Islamic School.

“We don’t just take care of our families and that’s it. We’re all connected and we all support one another.”

On Wednesday, Kohawar Khan, Alberta regional fundraising manger for Islamic Relief Canada, presented a plaque to Haydar and Ferris to recognize the school's fundraising efforts.

"These kids made waves. They made an impact and for us at Islamic Relief, it inspired all of us," Khan said.

Islamic Relief Canada will use the money to provide shelter, food, heating materials, hygiene kits and medical support for earthquake victims.

"For the kids to realize that they're so powerful, they're so strong, and the work that they do really makes a difference," Khan said.

People can still donate on the Islamic Relief Canada website.

Shortly after the earthquakes, Nancy Ferris, a kindergarten teacher at Calgary Islamic School, decided to team up with Islamic Relief Canada on a fundraiser for emergency relief efforts.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

Oilers rally to beat Stars, tie Western Conference Final

With the Edmonton Oilers down two goals late in the first period of Game 4, Rogers Place was quiet, fans seemingly bewildered at the early, quick scoring of the Dallas Stars and the slow start by the home team. Ryan McLeod's marker with six-and-a-half minutes in the opening frame left changed all that.

Stay Connected