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Refugee Set For New Life

EKFOR newest sponsored refugee arrives in Cranbrook. Read more.

West Kootenay Friends of Refugees

Read about the San-Latt family in Rossland.

East Kootenay / West Kootenay friends Video...




Thank you for visiting the web site of
East Kootenay Friends of Refugees Society.

The East Kootenay Friends of Refugees Society is a registered charity, registered society, and a Sponsorship Agreement Holder group (which means we have an agreement with the Federal government allowing us to privately sponsor refugees).

We have been sponsoring refugees to western Canada for 30 years. We are 100% volunteers and use all funds collected for the sponsorship of refugees to Canada. We are financially responsible for the refugees.

We specialize in recreational therapeutic support for refugees with backgrounds of severe trauma, and refugee youth with physical disabilities. For more information regarding this innovative program, please contact Shauna Jimenez at Shauna@EastKootenayFriendsOfRefugees.org.

We have branches in Calgary, Cranbrook, Creston, Edmonton, Fernie, Kimberley, and Rossland. Only our Kimberley / Cranbrook branch has the recreational therapy program.

Who we sponsor: Refugees, (as identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as people forced to flee their country by persecution) from Burma (Myanmar as the dictatorship calls it), Eritrea, Colombia, Liberia, and South Sudan. Sadly, for 2017 the Canadian federal government allows us to only sponsor eight refugees.

How to donate: Donations to this charity are tax deductible. We are currently supporting many refugees from Liberia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Burma, and Syria and could really use your help with funding for these wonderful folks.

The easiest way to donate is by credit card through CanadaHelps.org. You will immediately receive a tax receipt. Note that you will have the choice of Calgary, Rossland, and General. The Calgary branch currently has the greatest financial need.

You can also can send a cheque to East Kootenay Friends of Refugees Society, #27, 2124-30 Ave. South, Cranbrook, BC, V1C 7A4. A charitable tax receipt will be sent.

We are registered with Benevity. If your workplace uses this service, you can give there and your employer will match the donation.

You can make a donation to Calgary refugees by sending an Interac e-Transfer to Quentin.

Branch Updates

Calgary: During 2018, we were happy to welcome a family to Calgary to reunite with their brother. Calgary. This wonderful reunion saw three siblings, originally from Eritrea finally reunited here, along with an energetic 2 year old, born while the siblings were escaping from Eritrea. The family is adapting well and everyone is either working, going to school, or doing both. There has been an incredible volunteer network helping this family adapt, with much joy and learning shared by all. We have also had a Chin Burmese man transition into independence. He is doing very well, finishing his final levels of ELL as well as vocational training.

Along with their family members here, we anxiously await the arrival of their family members we have sponsored from South Sudan and Eritrea.

Cranbrook: Cranbrook group is pleased to announce that a young Eritrean refugee will be able to join his brother here. The wait for this was six years. The long waits for refugees from Africa is frustrating and wreaks of racism in refugee policy.

Our Cranbrook Branch has sponsored a Syrian family of 4, who are enjoying life in Cranbrook BC. This group now plans to sponsor other family members to reunite with this Syrian family.

East Kootenay: The East Kootenay branch continues to support a number of Karen families resettled to Kimberley and Creston BC. Our summer therapy program for former refugee youth with special needs is up and running again with children and youth enjoying a variety of recreational and social programs together.

Fernie: Our Fernie branch sponsored a single Mom with nine dependents from Liberia, who are now settling into Fernie, thanks to this amazing group of volunteers. They also still support the single Mom with one child from Uganda, and the single man from Eritrea, all arrived within the past couple of years, and all working to help support themselves in Fernie, BC.

Kimberley: Our Kimberley group still supports the four Karen families from Burma that we have sponsored over the past few years. We also do a summer therapeutic recreational program for former refugee children and youth at Wasa Lake, BC.

Rossland: The West Kootenay Friends of Refugees, based in Rossland, has welcomed several family members this year. An Eritrean family of 3 welcomed their patriarch, who had been missing for 6 years. A Burmese family of 4, who have lived in Rossland for almost 5 years, has taken in a brother/cousin who spent decades in Malaysia. And last week, a Syrian woman who settled in Nelson was joined by her brother and father, who have spent 3 years struggling in Turkey. These 3 families are happier, stronger and all the more Canadian for their reunions!

Vancouver: The Vancouver branch welcomed a young Eritrean fellow on Halloween night of 2017. He is now completing his grade 12 and hoping to begin University classes this fall. We are also awaiting the arrival of another Eritrean fellow presently living in Khartoum, Sudan.