A teenager from Merrickville has made it her mission to raise money and spread awareness about the efforts of Merrickville Bridge to Canada.
Grade 10 student, Fae Mackay, lives in Merrickville but attends North Grenville District High School (NGDSH). She first became aware of Merrickville Bridge to Canada (MBC), and their effort to bring a Syrian refugee family to the town, through her mother, and decided that volunteering with them would be a good way to get community service hours.
Soon after she started volunteering, she was asked to be the chair of the youth committee. Her role will be to help the children integrate into their new school and community. “It helps that I am a young person, like them,” Fae says.
Fae has also taken on the task of continuing to fundraise, as MBC has not yet reached their goal. A couple of weeks ago, she put on a street hockey tournament at her school, which raised $400 for MBC. “It was a really fun event,” Fae says. “It got people who wouldn’t normally participate aware and involved.”
She is very excited to meet the children, especially the ones who are her age and will most likely be attending NGDHS. She is trying to make sure everyone is aware that there could be a couple of Syrian students at the school next year, who will need support to integrate into the community. She learned first-hand what it’s like to go to school in a country where you don’t know the language when she went on exchange in France. “It’s not an easy experience,” she admits. “I really want to help them integrate. It’s going to be really important to help them learn English.”
As their arrival gets closer, and she learns more about the family, Fae says she is getting more and more excited. “I want to learn about what they’ve been through and how I can help them,” she says.
Right now, the youth committee is small, with just Fae, one of her friends, and a student from Merrickville Public School. Fae says it would be great if they could get more young people involved. “We could definitely use help on the youth committee,” she says. “It’s been really fun so far and, hopefully, we can help out more and more as time goes on.”
To join the youth committee or get involved with MBC, visit their website www.merrickville-bridge.ca.