Winnipeg group sewing quilts for Afghan refugees

A group in Winnipeg is offering a warm welcome to Afghan refugees arriving in the city.

Volunteers and staff at the Excel Empowerment Centre in Winnipeg have been sewing handmade quilts to give to the refugees settling in the city.

Rebecca Deng, the founder and executive director of the centre, said she got the idea to hand out the quilts two weeks ago when she learned of the Afghan families arriving in Winnipeg.

“We would like to share the love of Winnipeg with them, to feel that they are welcome home, we are welcoming them home,” she said. “The way we are welcoming them home is to give them the blanket, the quilt that the women are sewing from the Excel Empowerment Centre.”

She said a group of women at the centre, which offers educational and recreational programming to war-affected newcomers and immigrants to Canada, have been hard at work preparing the quilts.

She said they hope this will help families prepare for Manitoba’s winters.

They plan to give 53 quilts to refugee families, with another 47 quilts going to members of the Ukrainian community.

“It is a way of sharing, showing love and welcoming people to Winnipeg,” Den said. “To show them we are here for you – the door is open.”

-with files from CTV News’ Kimberly Rio Wertman

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