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Montreal’s Sikh community to deliver Valentine’s Day care packages for women in shelters

Volunteers assembling care packages. Sunday February 11, 2018.
Volunteers assembling care packages. Sunday February 11, 2018. Courtesy of Amit Vijayan

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it can be a sad reminder for some women who have been victims of domestic violence.

Montreal members of the World Sikh Organization (WSO) are looking to change that by delivering 180 care packages for women in shelters.

“It’s a gift to show them they’re valued, regardless of their situation,” volunteer Suekhleane Bajaj said.

“They’re obviously going through a lot.”

Packages include face and body products, baked goods and handmade cards created by local school children.

Volunteers are students members of the World Sikh Organization and “anybody who wants to join to help,” Bajaj said.

READ MORE: The cycle of conjugal violence: What does it take for a woman to leave?

On Tuesday, they will also be working out of McGill University.

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The initiative was inspired by the One Billion Rising movement which sprouted in 2012.

The movement began as a response to the United Nations statistic that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, or about one billion.

“The WSO takes this opportunity to raise awareness in the community about issues surrounding family violence and resources available to those in need, such as WSO’s Sikh Family Helpline,” the World Sikh Organization wrote in their press release.

The event is taking place in cities across Canada, including Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.