Inspired by her family’s own immigrant journey, Rasmeet Mohar, a third year JD student and President of the South Asian Law Students Association at the Allard School of Law, took on the task of creating care packages for refugee claimants. Over 100 care packages were created and then donated to Kinbrace, a local organization dedicated to welcoming and supporting refugees who arrive in Vancouver.
How did you hear about Kinbrace?
I took Professor Efrat Arbel’s Refugee Law course recently. We not only learnt a lot about the refugee process but had a Kinbrace volunteer speak to our class. We also experienced the READY tour which Kinbrace helped establish. The READY tour prepares refugee claimants for the refugee hearing process at the Immigration and Refugee Board. If it were not for Professor Arbel’s class, I would not have even considered a refugee non-profit to donate to, let alone Kinbrace.
What inspired you to create care packages for this organization?
The South Asian Law Students Association is an ethnic minority student group with a majority of members who are either immigrants themselves, or have family members who are. Some of our students even have family members who are refugees. As a result, we were looking for a non-profit organization that connected with our immigrant journey and would assist individuals in making a smooth transition into Canada, as many of us have.
What impact do you think these care packages would have on refugees who are new to Canada?
We are hoping that these care packages will help provide a positive perception of Canadians to the refugee claimants. Most claimants have fled from horrific circumstances across the world. These care packages will hopefully give them a long overdue sign of acceptance, belonging and support, which they deserve.
What are your plans for after graduation?
Post-graduation I will be articling at a business law firm downtown. However, it is experiences in classes like Refugee Law and the Judicial Externship, which I am currently in, that has motivated me to consider the incorporation of other practice areas in my legal career. Whether it is encouraging the firm I end up in to assist in pro bono cases or taking on cases myself. I believe that there is a disconnect between business law and the non-profit world. I would love to bridge that gap by using resources from business law to help such groups. For instance, many of these refugee claimants may be interested in setting up a business or may need assistance with their taxes. I think there is a role business lawyers can play here and I look forward to seeing what I can do for vulnerable groups as my own legal knowledge grows.