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Empowering Hope, Embracing Humanity

About Us: The History of Care For Refugees

Care for Refugees

The dream of Care for refugee (CFR) was conceived since 1995 in the mind and soul of the visionary and proactive women Elfinesh Zewde. When she came to Canada through Windle Trust sponsorship and looking at the welcoming of Canadians and growth potential for any immigrant. She started sponsoring her close families. Gradually Elfinesh started sponsoring refugee families and individuals who are in desperate situation in Kenya, Uganda, and other countries (South Africa, Israel, and Korea) to come to Nova Scotia. She helped many to settle and grow. Gradually, this unilateral initiative was shared to other like-minded colleagues like Alen MacNeil and community members; and the birth of Care for Refugee (CFR) as a community organization and it became incorporated in 2018. Elfinesh’s vision now become the vision of her fellow board members, newcomers and immigrant communities of Ethiopia and Eretria in Halifax and surrounding. CFR is a non-profit organization run by volunteers; and it has sponsored and support over 200 refugees to come to Canada. CFR would like to be one of sponsoring and settlement organizations for Africa descent refugees in Nova Scotia.

During the COVID pandemic, the organization saw the need for some training and basic skills development for new arrivals as well as other immigrants. CFR offers online computer literacy training, Financial Literacy, and Parental training during this time. In partnership and collaboration with other organizations and professionals, CFR facilitated the Legal Information session series and the above-noted parental training. CFR continues to offer the training from time to time.

We are running a GoFundMe fundraising, and our goal is to raise $75,000 to support refugees’ sponsorship and settlement work we do. Any amount counts to reach this goal and we thank you in advance for your support.

About Us and Our Story

Empowering Hope, Embracing Humanity

Our Vision Statements

  • We envision all immigrants we sponsored coming from Africa to Nova Scotia treated equally, got equal opportunity, acclimatize with Canada, and grow to their maximum potential.
  • We envision being one of the most welcoming sponsorship organizations representing Africa descendants and making our center a place of healing, self-help, and venue for self-empowerment.
  • We envision a future where every immigrant from Africa grows and flourish in life. We learn from each other and support one another as we build our future together.

Our Mission

Our Mission is to sponsor African refugees to come to Nova Scotia and settle to live safe and designated life.

Founder, CPA, CGA

Elfinesh Zewde

Care for Refugees has operated as a volunteer-run organization since 1995 and was incorporated in 2018. It was founded by Elfinesh Zewde who herself had come to Canada after having refugee status in Kenya. Through the process of bringing the rest of her family to Canada, she realized that other people in similar positions to her family may also need help navigating the process of coming to Canada and the acclimatization stages upon arrival.

Vice Chair, CPA, CMA

Alan MacNeil

Alan’s career began in finance roles first in the private sector but has the longest tenure now in government roles. A twenty five plus year term with the Workers Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, mostly as Senior Accountant is his longest tenured position. He joined Care for Refugees Board of Directors in 2018 as it was being formalized as an incorporated not for profit organization. Alan’s role as vice chair involves working directly with the chair in the regular operational management of CFR’s activities and the organization’s accounting. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA).

Secretary, PHD at a University

Dr. Bitu Hurisso

Bitu Hurisso moved from Ethiopia to England in 2007 for his graduate school studies. In England, Bitu volunteered as a community organizer for Citizens UK an organization that mainly advocates for fair living wage. He also volunteered to work with Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees for community events. After completing his PhD study, Bitu moved to Canada in 2012 for one year of temporary research work. Then Bitu decided to stay in Canada to pursue his research work and teaching at the University until today. Bitu is involved in the Ethiopian community and is one of the founding board members of Birhan Cultural and Education Centre which teaches Ethiopian language and selected science courses for school-age children. He recently joined Care for Refugees on the Board of directors. He is very interested in working for the adequate settlement and career advancement of refugees.

Board of Directors

Alemayehu Yadete

Alemayehu came to Canada from Kenya 4 years ago with his wife and daughter. He has been an active volunteer in settlement areas of the work since he came. He has been a board member since 2022. He is always making time to help settlement from outside of his regular job. Alemayehu's personal value of caring for others aligns with CFR’s one of its core values. CFR is thankful for Alemayehu’s continuous support.

Board of Directors

Alemseged Alula Anjelo

Alemseged lived in Kenya for 12 years as a refugee from Ethiopia before he came to Canada in 2016. He is a full time employee with NSLC in the Distribution Centre. Alemseged uses his spare time volunteering with CFR in the area of settlement work. He has been with CFR since he came to Canada. He is one of the main lead volunteers in settlement work such as: collecting furniture to set up apartments, driving newcomers to get Nova Scotia Health Card & NS ID and offering the refugees a drive when they needed the most. Alemseged became a Board Member early 2022.

Our Spending

We Are Non-Profit And NGO Organization

We prioritize transparency and accountability, ensuring that your contributions are used efficiently and effectively to alleviate the suffering of refugees and help them rebuild their lives with dignity.


Our Testimonials

What They’re Talking About Care For Refugees

I have no words to explain what I learned from this amazing computer program. I want to thank Care For Refugees and for the people who give us their time to teach us how to use a computer. You have done a lot, and we are so lucky.

Teklehaimanot Damena

I'd like to express my gratitude for the invaluable support and community connections CFR has provided. Through it, I've improved my computer skills, learned about letter writing, received laptops for practice, and gained essential knowledge about mortgages and basic financial literacy. The instructors, who used our native language, made learning comfortable and accessible.

Netsanet Gotta

The training program is incredibly valuable to me as it rekindles my IT skills, which I had put on hold for eight years, offering a much-needed update and introducing new concepts. Additionally, CFR has significantly enhanced my financial literacy by imparting knowledge on saving strategies, retirement planning, teaching children about finances, and accessing benefits. I'm immensely grateful for the support and resources provided by CFR.

Senait Shewarega

You Have The Power Two Change Tomorrow

Helping refugees is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic choice. By extending our support, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of those who have been forced to flee their homes. Let us come together, show compassion, and work towards creating a world where no one is left behind. Together, we can build a brighter future for all

Helping refugees is not just an act of charity; it is an investment in our collective future. Refugees bring with them unique skills, talents, and perspectives that can enrich our societies. By providing them with the necessary resources and opportunities, we can unlock their potential and empower them to contribute to our communities.

Refugees are not just statistics; they are human beings with dreams, aspirations, and potential. They have been forced to leave everything behind in search of safety and a better future. By extending a helping hand, we can offer them a glimmer of hope and a chance to rebuild their lives.

In today's world, the refugee crisis has reached unprecedented levels. Millions of people are displaced from their homes due to conflict, persecution, and natural disasters. As a global community, it is our moral imperative to step up and help these vulnerable individuals. By providing assistance and support to refugees, we can not only alleviate their suffering but also contribute to a more compassionate and inclusive society.