BC volunteer heading to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees

Upneet Kaur Bassi is a master’s of education student and a soon-to-be bride who’s heading for Poland Friday to help Ukrainian refugees.

Bassi is a member of the Canadian arm of global charity Khalsa Aid, which is among the many that have been on the ground helping refugees since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.

When the organization put out a call for volunteers, Bassi’s response was: “Book me a flight.”

Bassi doesn’t know where she’ll be posted or what work she’ll do, but she’s ready. She’s one of six Canadians who will go for about a week.

“We were always raised to perform selfless service, which we call ‘seva,’” she told CTV News.

That was part of her upbringing at Victoria’s Singh Sabha Gurdwara, she said. One of the temple’s volunteers, and uncle to Bassi, said efforts are underway to raise money, collect donations and maybe even put up temporary housing to support Ukrainian refugees that may end up in the area.

“Our intention is to make the ones that are coming here feel welcome,” explained Gaganjit Singh Nijjar.

The province also said work is happening behind the scenes to arrange housing, medical coverage and other supports while waiting to hear from Ottawa about how many people to expect.

Like many others in BC ready to feed, house and support those fleeing war, Bassi said her motivation was simply to help others in need, no matter where they are.

“We’ve always been raised on the principal of treating everybody as one,” she added.

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