Hakafa Welcomes Refugee Families!
Hakafa made the decision in December 2015 to sponsor a refugee family. We have partnered with RefugeeOne, a refugee resettlement agency that provides a full range of services to refugees resettled in the Chicago area.
The Musa family arrived at O’Hare on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 after a very long trip from their refugee camp in Zimbabwe. The Musas are a family of six - a mother (Faraha) and father (Renovat) with 4 girls, ages 1, 3, 5, and 7. They have been living in a Zimbabwe refugee camp for the past 10 years. Approximately twenty Hakafa members were at O’Hare to welcome the family!
RefugeeOne covered many of the basic needs of the family, including finding them an apartment, but there were many other things that Hakafa needed to provide. On very short notice, more than 50 Hakafa families helped greet, feed, shop for, and donate items as we welcomed the Musas - who were overwhelmed with all that they have been given! After spending many years in a refugee camp, where their monthly food allotments usually lasted only two weeks, they are very happy to be here.
We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our congregation. In only 90 days, we went from an idea of sponsoring a family to greeting them with the basics they needed to start their new lives.
Since that time, we have sponsored three more families, the Alhaneels, the Mohammads, and the Ghetu Danials, and continue to provide support for some of them.
Even with the uncertainty surrounding immigration policy in the new administration, we hope to continue to sponsor more families. We will be looking for volunteers to mentor a new family (mentors ideally visit twice a month) and students who are thirteen or older who would like to help tutor any children in the new family.
In addition, we are accepting donations needed to sponsor more families. Donations can be sent to "Rabbi Elder's Discretionary Fund" at Congregation Hakafa, P.O. Box 409, Glencoe, IL 60022. Please note that your donation is for refugee sponsorship on your check.