Compassion for Refugees Fund


Update: Having had a wonderfully successful fundraising campaign, we now await approval from Canadian Immigration for the two brothers to be welcomed as sponsored refugees.

Donate Now! Fund focus: Burundian Refugees in need of “urgent protection”

People fleeing Burundi Oct 2015 - Oxfam photo“They lost their homes. They shouldn’t lose their futures.”

Many thousands of residents have fled Burundi since May 2015 over fears of escalating violence as the United Nations warned there was a risk the central African country could slip back into civil war. Photo: Mary Mndeme, AFP/OXFAM, Oct 2015.


Two young men are in hiding in Kigali, Rwanda, in Central Africa.  They rarely dare go outside their accommodations.  Five months ago, back in Burundi, the younger brother was badly beaten and left for dead by unknown assailants, one in police uniform.  A woman, a “good Samaritan” he calls her, found him, took him to her home, washed his wounds, and finally got him back to his family and temporary safety.  Threats followed against him and his older brother.  They fled to Rwanda.

These two young men, Rodrigue and Pacifique, are brothers of a member of our Ottawa Unitarian Fellowship, Urbain Rwuhiriro, pictured here with his wife Leila.

And that is why our Fellowship started the Compassion for Refugees Fund.  We found the plight of the world’s refugees right on our own doorstep.

In Burundi last year, over 400 people were killed by political violence, and 250,000 fled to neighbouring states for safety.  But they’re still not safe because Burundian agents can too easily locate them and take them by force back to Burundi where they are likely to be killed.  That’s why Urbain’s brothers remain in hiding.

In 2014, throughout the world, conflict and persecution forced an average of 42,500 persons per day to leave their homes and seek protection elsewhere. The global refugee problem is massive.

What can you do?  Not much, you say, but don’t let that stop you from doing what you can.  Our Fellowship has set a goal to help two Burundian refugees.  It will make an enormous difference to their lives.

Please help us achieve our goal.  Please contribute generously to the Ottawa Unitarian Fellowship



Donations to the Unitarian Fellowship Refugee Fund of $20 or more will receive a charitable donation receipt for income tax purposes: Charity BN/ Registration # 86826 4094 RR0001.

Donate by cheque: Make cheques payable to Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Ottawa, note Refugee Fund on the memo line, and mail to UUFO, 400 McArthur Avenue, Ottawa, ON.  K1K 1G8

Donate Online: Follow the link to donate to our campaign on Canada Helps.