A B.C. woman is raising funds to support Morocco’s earthquake victims after losing seven family members herself last month.
Kenza Lahlou, who lives in Williams Lake, left Morocco in 2019, but many members of her family remained.
“We couldn’t get ahold of (my) grandparents, cousins, uncle and auntie. Later that week, we received the news that unfortunately they all died in the earthquake,” she told Global News.
The 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit Morocco on Sept. 6. Entire mountain villages collapsed and thousands of buildings were severely damaged, killing more than 2,900 people.
Nowhere to live, nowhere to turn: Morocco earthquake survivors left traumatized
Lahlou said during the first few hours after the initial earthquake, it was like a living nightmare for her.
“It was terrifying, just sitting at work, not knowing what was going on. I was on edge all day,” she said.
She has now turned her grief into action, raising money that she said will be going toward rebuilding schools and hospitals in the devastated region.
“We’re just hoping to give them as much as we can so they are able to have those services,” Lahlou said.
“Education is very important. (The children) are the future and the hope, and we are hoping they are the generations that will lift up the country.”
Lahlou works at the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre with a serious passion for education and students.
Morocco earthquake: Survivors continue to sleep outdoors in makeshift shelters, 5 days after tragedy
Global Affairs Canada said the money is being used to help the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement deliver life-saving services, such as emergency food, water, emergency cash and vouchers, as well as sanitation and health services. Another $2 million in federal assistance was provided for immediate needs.
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