Bowral businessman Mick Pfahi was so moved by a recent film about the desperate plight of Syrian Palestinian women and children refugees in Lebanon he wanted to do something to help.
So this weekend Mr Pfahi is holding a Buy A Tree to Support a Refugee sale where 100 per cent of every sale goes to help women and children in crowded refugee camps.
In the process he has challenged other businesses in the area to see what they can do.
The recent movie night was hosted by Union Aid Abroad APHEDA (Australian People for Health Education and Development Abroad), the overseas humanitarian aid arm of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).
It was organised by Helen McCue and other local supporters and raised more than $5000.
The film was called Five Broken Cameras and the funds went to a women’s organisation in the refugee camps in Beirut.
‘‘The focus is on the Syrian Palestinian refugees,’’ she said.
‘‘You have got a situation there now where there is gross overcrowding in long established camps to the extent where you might have something like 80,000 people in 1.5 square kilometres.
‘‘We have been working with the Palestinian Women’s Humanitarian Organisation (PWHO) which is a Palestinian organisation within the camps. They specifically made a request for emergency relief money for women and children.’’
Mrs McCue said it was the first time a business had taken the initiative to organise its own event, and thanked Mr Pfahi for his generosity and compassion.
The sale at Treekeepers Nursery on Oxleys Hill Rod today and tomorrow is on a wide range of tree species and hedging.
Mr Pfahi said he admired the work Mrs McCue did with APHEDA.
‘‘I have known of her work for years,’’ he said.
‘‘I was left after that film in a bit of a daze and reminded of how it is extraordinary that we actually live on the same planet as what is going on there. This film was so graphic and hit me so much, I thought I must act.’’