Last Updated:Friday - 09/24/2010
May 1, 2006
WCR Letters to the Editor
Sudan relief group is not political
Re: Sudcan Relief and Development Services.
I am writing to you with respect to an item which appeared in theDec. 5, 2005 WCR concerning our organization. The article which followed a brief account of the history of the conflict in Sudan, the signing of a peace treaty in January 2005 and the death of Vice-President Dr. John Garang (no relation to Dominic Garang) read as follows:
"(John) Garang's vision of a prosperous and autonomous nation lives on in Sudcan Relief and Development Services, a volunteer group of Sudanese Canadians raising awareness and financial relief to help the southern Sudanese repatriate their land and improve life for everyone."
Unfortunately, this quote was interpreted by the Canada Revenue Agency to suggest that Sudcan Relief and Development Services "may be pursuing an unstated political purpose" and was cited as one of the reasons that Sudcan's application for status as a registered Canadian charitable organization has been denied.
While we cannot deny that many individuals within the Sudanese communities of Edmonton and elsewhere in Canada are hopeful that southern Sudan will indeed evolve into a prosperous and autonomous nation via the process outlined in the January 2005 peace treaty, the purposes and objectives of Sudcan Relief and Development Services are strictly intended to provide charitable and humanitarian aid and relief to the displaced people within Sudan and in the many neighbouring countries to assist them in relocating and resettling in their home regions.
Our main objective is to reduce the misery and despair of the Sudanese people affected by the ravages of the previous civil war without regard to their race, gender or religion.
We wish to make it very clear that our organization has not pursued and does not intend to pursue any political agenda either here in Canada or in Sudan in the future.
Our sole purpose is to raise funds in order to provide humanitarian relief in the form of food, clothing, shelter, medical and educational services to people in difficulty throughout Sudan as our resources may allow.
Sudcan is committed to coordination of its efforts with charitable organizations such as Red Cross and Red Crescent and we will ensure that these efforts remain separate from any political motivations or agendas.
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