for African Empowerment (CFAE), a newly registered non-profit organisation in
the United States of America, is out to empower and advance the welfare of
African immigrants in America.
The centre, officially registered in the US in March 2017, seeks to provide timely information and services to address challenges such as immigration issues, housing, job creation and integration into the American society.
Chairperson of the organisation, Ousman Manjang, said Africans, including Gambians, living in the US decided to join forces to form CFAE “to address the ever-complex challenges African immigrants face in the USA”.
The organisation, headquartered in Bronx, New York City, has about 200 registered members.
“The sole aim of the centre is to equip the Africans, both in the US and those intending to migrate to the US, in terms of their job search, housing, schools and documentation processes,” Mr Manjang said.
“These will provide endless opportunities for them in the US and ease the burden of challenges faced while trying to integrate into the American society.”
The existence of CFAE would not only help minimise the danger of wrong guidance and problems encountered by African immigrants but would also positively guide and support them towards acquiring legal status, Mr Manjang said.
The executive committee and board of advisers of CFAE work hand in glove to make sure that the organisation remains productive and result-oriented.
The executive committee, for example, holds regular weekly gatherings to measure performance and effect positive changes when and where needed.
The organisation is officially recognised and given a non-profit status by regulatory bodies such as the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) and the State and City of New York. It has an official bank account.
CFAE has a functional website (www.cfaeusa.org), Facebook and Twitter pages for active communication with members, and African immigrants facing challenges can contact them for help and guidance.
Chairperson of CFAE said they have plans to establish a community resource centre where African immigrants will access timely information and guidance, will be provided with skills training and professional development, and job and housing information.
At CFAE, Mr Manjang said, a lot is in store for the African immigrants, and any little support from individuals and organisations will go a long way in helping the organisation achieve its mission of empowering and advancing the lives of African immigrants in the USA.
Giving his story of how CFAE helped him, Abdoulie, a Gambian resident of Bronx, New York, said: “In 2014, I arrived in the United States from The Gambia. I was undecided and tried several unsettled jobs. At some point, I got really frustrated and wanted to return to my country. But in 2015 that changed. I got introduced to one Kebba Jobe, a very supportive man who I later found out to be a member of CFAE.
“He did not only help in finding me a decent job with Duane Reade Pharmacy, but also became a mentor and brother I constantly count on for advice in the areas of immigration, education and more. That’s the same spirit I found with CFAE when I registered with the organisation.”