Multicultural Association working to aid newcomers get their COVID-19 vaccines
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Multicultural Association of Huron-Perth has recently begun stepping up its efforts in northern Huron and Perth communities to help residents receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Geza Wordofa, president and founder of the association, said he and his small team have been focusing on communities like Wingham, Listowel, Blyth and others in recent weeks. They have been reaching out to those who might need help booking a vaccination appointment, getting to their appointment or overcoming vaccine hesitancy in new Canadians.
Wordofa, in an interview with The Citizen, said residents of Canada are so lucky to have what they do. Whether it’s free travel throughout the province (before the enacting of the stay-at-home order) or free access to healthcare and vaccinations, he said living in Canada is such a privilege and that is especially evident in times like those we’re experiencing now.
Between grant funding for the organization and volunteers who are keen to reach out to the community of new Canadians in the region, Wordofa says the organization is ready, willing and able to help residents wherever and whenever they can. They have a vehicle to transport people to and from their appointments, if necessary, and they are taking extreme precaution to avoid spreading the virus, thoroughly sanitizing the vehicle between uses, wearing masks and more.
He said that living in such a wonderful country as Canada, it’s integral that people give back, which is what he feels he and his team are doing by connecting with other members of the community. Wordofa also said that people are lucky to have free and ready access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Situations in his native Ethiopia or India, the home of Hira Dhariwal, another of the association’s volunteers, are not nearly as encouraging.
Wordofa says he and his team have made themselves available 24 hours a day if necessary. While they have been focusing on assistance related to the COVID-19 vaccine as of late, he says they really are there just to help those who need it. Whether it’s groceries on a short month or any other kind of help, he said they are there if they’re needed.
They were recently in Blyth going door to door hoping to help and they would soon be doing so in other communities as well.
To reach out, call the association at 1-888-910-1583 or visit its website at maph.ca.