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An old resort owned by Vancouver Island couple Brian and Sharon Holowaychuks will host more than their fair share of asylum seekers fleeing their worn-torn country.
The resort, located in East Sooke, will shelter many Ukrainian refugees entering Canada.
Since Russian troops began advancing into the eastern European country in February, the couple got creative with ways they could help, transforming their 15,000-square-foot resort property into a refugee home called the ‘Ukrainian Safe Haven’.
Brian spoke with Global News, telling them his upcoming plans for the Haven.
“My personal goal is 100 people,” he said.
“We’ve got 19 people booked to be coming in about two to three weeks.”
The Ukrainian Safe Haven Facebook also shared: “With your support, we’re aiming to provide over 100 Ukrainian refugees with a safe and peaceful place to call home".
“A former 82 acre resort property on Vancouver Island is preparing to accommodate the needs of dozens of families,” the social media post added.
The Vancouver Island couple revealed they have a very personal reason to want to help a small number of the millions of Ukrainian refugees fleeing Russia's invading troops.
Brian’s grandparents came from Ukraine, a link that made the Canadian man want to help out any way he could.
“We’re in a position, in a place, in a time where we could help make a bit of a difference. And I thought, you know, it’s time to stand up and be counted,” he said.
Initially, the couple began converting the resort into a gallery space to host gigs and charity events; however, those plans have been halted until further notice.
According to Digital Journal, as of yesterday (April 4), around 4.2 million Ukrainians have fled the war.
The United Nations has described Ukraine's humanitarian crisis as 'growing by the minute as more people flee the war in Ukraine'.
A spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees also spoke of the horrors of families greatly impacted by the invasion.
“I have witnessed many difficult things since this conflict began.
“I saw tens of thousands of refugees and around 90 per cent of them were women and children.
“Their tales are very similar, of being woken up by the sounds of bombs and grenades, grabbing some belongings like their passports, maybe a little money, or a plush animal for the children.”
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.
Featured Image Credit: Ukraine Safe Haven/Facebook. Abaca Press / Alamy Stock Photo.
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