Syrian who sought shelter in Sudan aims to show how refugees can make a difference

A Syrian refugee living in Sudan, who says he wants to show how refugees can make a difference, is helping to supply clean water to Ethiopians fleeing conflict at home.

Student Salam Kanoush, 29, fled Syria in 2016. He says he was kidnapped and robbed while leaving Aleppo and bombing attacks made it unsafe for him to remain at his university in Damascus.

Kanoush says his mission is to prove that refugees can bring about change and has devoted his free time to helping other refugees and people in need.

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“In Sudan I wanted to give an example that refugees are not really problems,” he told Reuters.

“Now we hear refugees are related to sadness and poor people and they are always in need, but we are not like that, some people can really make a change.”

Volunteering for the Italian aid organization COOPI, Salam works on purifying water, setting up transport routes and locating water sources to help Ethiopians arriving at the Hamdeyat border reception center.

Salam has also volunteered in other refugee camps during his time in Sudan and has founded an organization in Sudan’s eastern Kassala state that empowers women and young people to start their own businesses.

A month-long war in Ethiopia’s northern Tigray region has sent 45,000 refugees into neighboring Sudan.

Ethiopian refugees wait in line for a meal at the Um Rakuba refugee camp which houses Ethiopian refugees fleeing the fighting in the Tigray region, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, Sudan, November 28, 2020. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Ethiopian refugees wait in line for a meal at the Um Rakuba refugee camp which houses Ethiopian refugees fleeing the fighting in the Tigray region, on the Sudan-Ethiopia border, Sudan, November 28, 2020. (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 02 December 2020 KSA 20:05 - GMT 17:05
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