LANGLEY, British Columbia – In the midst of the global refugee crisis, Jordan Koslowsky is working to make a difference.
With the help of the Trinity Western University community, Koslowsky, who is a member of the Spartans men’s volleyball team, recently founded the Trinity Refugee Awareness Campaign (TRAC) in an effort to both raise awareness and provide an opportunity for action.
Koslowsky, who is taking International Studies at TWU, launched the campaign in early February with the goal of raising $34,000 to sponsor and support a refugee family with the help of MCC (Mennonite Central Committee). The money raised will cover the costs of living for the family for a 12-month sponsorship period.
“With such a diverse array of interests and specialties in such a condensed area, combined with such a caring group of students and alumni, when utilized correctly, TWU has such huge potential to respond to something like this,” Koslowsky said.
Since launching, TRAC has already raised $8,400 and this Saturday at the Spartans men’s and women’s volleyball games, they will be hosting a TRAC Night in hopes of raising both awareness and funds.
In the summer of 2016, the now second-year Spartan was on a six-week trip to Israel and Pakistan with Trinity Western University’s missions program, Global Projects. Partway through the trip, he hiked up Israel’s Mount Hermon. While standing at the top of the mountain, which is the highest point in Israel, he had the first of two significant moments that started his path towards founding TRAC.
“I was standing there and I could see Syria and Lebanon and Isreal,” Koslowsky said. “It made it so real. It was honestly kind of sickening that I was standing there in so much peace yet so close to me was so much chaos that people couldn’t escape from. That slapped me in the face with the reality of it all.”
Two weeks later, Koslowsky was in a refugee camp in Bethlehem and had the chance to hear stories from individuals who were living in the camp..
“It opened my eyes even more to the issues and it grabbed my heart,” he said. “Right away, I knew the TWU community had so much potential to do something.”
This past fall, Koslowsky started laying the groundwork for TRAC and after partnering with MCC, who will act as a liason between TRAC and the Canadian government and will facilitate the connection to the refugee family, the TWU-based club launched three weeks ago.
TRAC is now working to raise the required funds to sponsor a family. Once $24,000 is raised, TRAC will be assigned a family and that family would be expected to arrive within three to six months.
Right now, Koslowsky and his team are also reaching out to TWU-affiliated families – either parents of current students or alumni – who are based in the Langley area, who be willing to partner with TRAC to help support the family, especially during the summer months, for the first year in which they are in Langley.
FUTURE TRAC FUNDRAISING EVENTS
TRAC Night with the TWU Chamber and Concert Choir | Date: TBA
TRAC Night at the Holy Trinity Cathedral | April 6 | 7:30 – 9 p.m. | 514 Carnarvon St, New Westminster, B.C.
TRINITY REFUGEE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN