From Montreal to Quebec, refugees run for hope

Twelve young refugees started the race, Sunday morning, an ultramarathon of hope which extends over 250 km, from Montreal to Quebec.

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The race started around 11 a.m. at Place Émilie-Gamelin, in Montreal, with a little delay. The excitement is immediately felt by the young participants and the speakers. “We are very excited,” admitted Virginie Leblanc, worker at Motivaction Jeunesse.

From March 27 to April 1, twelve refugees of 10 different nationalities will travel more than 250 km in relays to deliver a message of hope, openness and tolerance. The event, which is also intended as an “integration adventure”, was organized as part of the week of action against racism.

Anjan Rai, one of the participants, was born in a refugee camp in Nepal, and had never had a passport before immigrating to Canada. “I want to show Quebecers that we are capable of living together, regardless of nationalities, religions and differences,” said the young refugee.

“I want to show Quebecers that immigrants are very brave,” added Zahangir Alam, a Rohingya who lived in a refugee camp in Burma.

Ka Meh Lay, of Burmese origin, meanwhile lived in a refugee camp near Thailand. “Immigrating is difficult. But we don’t give up, we do it anyway, ”added the young participant.

The twelve participants in the project each have their own reasons that motivate them to run during this ultramarathon, but all have the same goal, in the end: to show Quebec that immigration can be positive and that living together is possible.

“They have already taken the road to find a better world. That’s why the event is called “La route de l’espoir”,” explained Ms. Leblanc.

“They know it’s going to be difficult, but they do it to say they’re here and don’t be afraid,” she added.

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