A Concert on May 2, to aid a young refugee

kathy moore
By kathy moore
April 22nd, 2024

West Kootenay Friends of Refugees (WKFoR) will soon be welcoming a young man of Eritrean origin to Rossland. He escaped Eritrea 5 years ago and has been living in Ethiopia. As a UNHCR refugee there, he is unable to work or study. He describes himself as someone who does not like to sit still. Coming to Canada as a Permanent Resident will finally allow him to get on with life and share his energy! WKFoR asked him to share a brief biography for publication, and were reminded of why their organization exists: He fears for his life if the Eritrean government finds his story. Recently a friend of his disappeared after going public about his refuge in Africa. The friend was traced months later to a prison in Eritrea. “Freedom of expression is a right that we are able to take for granted in Canada. People still die fighting for that right in many parts of the world” says Kathy Moore, founder of WKFoR.

After more than two years in process to sponsor this young man, WKFoR recently received word from Immigration Canada that his application had been approved. Next steps are for him to receive an exit permit from the Ethiopian government, and for flights to be booked by the International Office of Migration. “We have no control over how long this stage will take, but the official estimate is 7-12 weeks. We will likely only receive one or two weeks’ notice of his actual arrival date, so we are busy preparing as we wait!” says Jill Peacock, Co-Coordinator of WKFoR.

The group expects to spend about $35,000 supporting this young man during his first year in Canada.

A fundraising concert will be held at the Trail United Church on Thursday May 2nd at 7:30 pm.1300 Pine Ave in  Trail. The concert, voluntarily presented by Carolyn Cameron, Katie Clarke, Hendrik Mendes and Leslie Mahr, features Baroque and Neo-Baroque music. Admission is by donation and all are welcome.

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