Most of you will have seen our January fundraising appeal. As we continued to be unsure of the timing of Omer’s arrival in Canada, we asked for your help in ensuring that we could continue to support him through 2024. And you came through. If anyone missed the appeal, your donation is still very much needed. Here’s what we told you:
As we embark on a new year, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your involvement with the Centre for Inquiry Canada and let you know a bit more about our Assistance for Apostates (A4A) program in hopes that you will consider making a donation to this important program.
As part of our work in the intersection of secularism and human rights, CFIC supports refugees who are fleeing persecution because they have questioned or criticized religion. As a small organization, we are unable to help everyone, but we do work tremendously hard to support someone. Since January of 2020, with the support of our members, we have been helping “Omer”.
Omer has Canadian sponsors in Calgary (Rocky Mountain Atheists) and has appreciated the generous support received from CFIC donors. Since fleeing Pakistan, fearing for his life, he has faced one challenge after another that continues to stall his arrival in Canada. First the COVID epidemic stopped all refugee processes in Nepal, then, Omer had two heart attacks and several other health concerns. Now, although he received a Visa from Canada in January 2023, along with approximately 70 other refugees in Nepal who are destined for Canada, Omer has been denied a Nepal exit visa.
Omer has been assured that his now expired Canadian visa will be reissued as soon as Nepal grants him an exit visa. After many years living as a refugee in Nepal, he is understandably anxious to start his new life in Canada that he hopes will include a job, friends, a romantic relationship, and a dog.
In the meantime, he remains dependent on CFIC for his daily living expenses which is why we are asking you to consider a small donation to support him. Currently our A4A program receives monthly donations totaling $527, and expenses of $740, leaving us to raise $213 each month. Our designated A4A donations total $1,713, so we have enough funds to get us through August. We’d like your help in raising an additional $2,000 to get us well into 2025 and to provide reassurance to Omer.
You can do this by making a one-time or monthly gift to CFIC which is eligible for a charitable tax receipt. Please note, that if Omer is able to come to Canada in 2024, all funds remaining in our A4A account will be used to support other apostate refugees.
A sincere thanks for your involvement with CFIC and for considering this request.
Seanna Watson, President E. Onur C. Romano Human Rights Chair
CFIC’s new A4A fundraising campaign will ensure that we have funds to support Omer through 2024 and into next year. This will help alleviate some of his stress. CFIC’s Podcast for Inquiry recently interviewed Omer as a part of this campaign. You can watch it on YouTube, or listen wherever you get your podcasts.