As we mark the 150th anniversary of confederation, The Philanthropist is profiling Canadians from across the non-profit sector and putting a face to 150 individuals who work or volunteer in Canada’s social sector.
Name: Bassel Dick
Current role in the sector: Volunteer with Rainbow Railroad in the Private Sponsorship Program.
What was your first job in the sector or a defining moment?
As a resident of Aleppo, Syria, I had to move to Lebanon in 2014 due to the crisis, where I found job within the non-profit sector with Caritas Internationalis. I worked there as the Assistant to the Head of the Medical Department. I worked with Syrian refugees on a daily basis who fled to Lebanon, providing them with medical coverage, life-saving surgeries and more.
That summer I volunteered to work in a summer camp for Syrian refugee kids. The camp included kids from different backgrounds, different cities in Syria of different denominations and religions. After that camp, I knew that this is what I love to do, and this is I was born to do.
Describe your desk/workspace.
As a member of the Private Sponsorship Program Committee, we meet on a monthly basis, the rest of the time we work from home.
What are you reading or following that has expanded your understanding of the non-profit sector?
Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney E. Martin.
What do you think our sector needs to be thinking about?
As a Syrian refugee, I cannot think of anything other than supporting Syrian refugees at the moment, especially after my work in Lebanon. I think this is what matters the most to me.
In terms of refugee support, whether for Syrians or from other nationalities, I think the sector should focus on education. Bringing refugees here is great and helping them find jobs is also great, but I think education is the guarantee they need for a bright Canadian future.
I am seeing this challenge with education firsthand. I hold a masters degree in pharmacy and I’m having a hard time finding a scholarship or a affordable program to help me practice pharmacy in Canada.
Do you know someone we should profile as part of this series? Email us at email@example.com