Over 40 years ago Edith Lando volunteered at ISSofBC to help Ismaili refugees fleeing Uganda resettle in Vancouver. Four decades later, her legacy of helping those in need lives on with a generous donation from her foundation to support construction of a playground for refugee and immigrant children at ISSofBC’s planned Welcome House.
Lando’s daughter, Roberta Beiser, who administers the Edith Lando Foundation with her three siblings, said her family was looking a suitable project to name in her mother’s honour since her passing in 2003.
“The new Welcome House playground is fitting given [Edith’s] history with ISSofBC. We are all very pleased to help this project,” Beiser said during an interview at ISSofBC Drake Street.
The Edith Lando Foundation looks for new and effective ways of giving young people of all walks of life a more positive self image. It has supported a wide range of projects such as teacher training and the development and expansion of specialized programs in schools. The foundation also backs projects combating child abuse, bullying, and encouraging child development and welfare.
“I believe each child is born with possibilities and promise. Many of these possibilities never come to fruition because of the circumstances in which children find themselves. I want to do what I can to ensure that every child has a chance at life,” said Edith Lando in a short biography on the foundation’s website.
The $200,000 donation will go directly to the planned playground ensuring immigrant and refugee children have access to an active, playful learning environment.
Construction of the New Welcome House starts this summer with a groundbreaking event on June 20 attended by government officials, partner organizations, community members and donors including Beiser.
The Edith Lando playground at the new Welcome House is the second largest contribution the foundation has ever made.
About the Author: Chris Friesen has been the ISSofBC Director of Settlement Services for over twenty years. He is currently leading the multi-year initiative to design and build a Metro Vancouver Regional Service Centre for Refugees. In spring 2016, this 58,000sf facility will become the first of its kind in the world, bringing together a variety of community and government services and organizations to meet the immediate needs of refugees and immigrants settling in BC. Learn more about the new Welcome House.