Relatable experience helps support Ukrainian arrivals

After a devasting earthquake in the northern region of Pakistan in 2005, Wajid Mughal witnessed firsthand the commitment and dedication of the Canadian Red Cross’ disaster response. 

It was this experience that inspired him to join the Red Cross and help others.

A man in a Canadian Red Cross vest standing in Arrivals section of an airport
Above, Wajid Mughal greets Ukrainian arrivals at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport 
“In my hometown, the Canadian Red Cross was there to help our local authorities in response,” explained Wajid. “I see the Canadian Red Cross working and helping our really touched my heart. These people came from so far from the other part of the world to help us, and when I moved to Canada, I decided to let's pay it back.”
Wajid came to Canada four years ago, unfortunately having to leave his wife and two children back home (but will be reunited soon). He joined the Canadian Red Cross team where he found the support and motivation through the organization and was deployed to support people affected by wildfires in Northern Ontario, Manitoba floods, an Ontario COVID-19 clinic, and most recent supporting arrivals fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.
“They gave me a lot of emotional support. They gave me a lot of courage that make me more and more motivated,” said Wajid. “You can imagine going through a really hard time and going for a response, with no family, but still committed to help the community. It was a very tough time, but I'm still happy I did something good for the community.”
Currently, welcoming Ukrainian arrivals at Toronto Pearson International Airport, Wajid uses his own experience and understanding of expatriation and having an undefined path for a new life in a foreign country. “I can feel this pain because I went through this and when somebody is in trouble or is in pain - I'm going out for help,” he explains.
One story Wajid proudly recounts is greeting a Ukrainian mother and her two sons as they arrived in Toronto. “As soon as they landed, I received them and I told them what kind of services we are offering. There's a huge Ukrainian community in Toronto, so I refer them to them and booked a hotel for them, so they immediately got relieved that they had a place to I make them comfortable and they were really happy.”
Wajid sums up what being actively involved with the Canadian Red Cross means to him and serving those in need:

“It's some kind of internal peace you feel in your heart you know. Like this is something completely different. It's more than making money. You're helping someone and you feel like an internal peace, because you're doing something good in your life.”

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