When the Taliban took over afghanistan

And CARR was reborn

On August 15, 2021
the BBC reported that:

“Taliban fighters took their first provincial capital on 6 August – and by 15 August, they were at the gates of Kabul. Their lightning advance prompted tens of thousands of people to flee their homes, many arriving in the Afghan capital, others heading for neighbouring countries.” Read Original Article

Here in Perth and District we all saw the images of the chaos at the airport in Kabul with Afghans trying to flee their country. After all their war-torn country had survived the insurrection was successful and the Taliban now ruled Afghanistan.

On September 8, 2021
the following email was received

by Ann Munroe (former Chair of CARR) from the current Chair of Rideau Bridge to Canada (an organization that successfully sponsored 2 Syrian families):

“Hi Ann

Hope all is well with you and yours after this crazy couple of years. 

Rideau Bridge to Canada has decided to sponsor a family of 5 from Afghanistan.  One of our Exec members had worked there for a number of years and knew a woman,  hired by Canadians, who ran a women employed radio station.  She is a journalist; you may have heard her interview on The Current yesterday.  All of her family members work with NGO’s and Human rights organizations.  3 weeks ago when we agreed to sponsor them circumstances were quite different.  As the chaos erupted, they fled to Kabul and brought 9 more family members, several very young children. 

The reason I am contacting you is to ask if any of your former members would be interested in being involved with sponsoring again. We know our small group wouldn’t be capable of fundraising for the additional 9 people.  Or if you could put me in touch with your former communications director for some contacts in Perth for getting the word out.  

It is an absolutely chaotic and dangerous situation over there.  We are so hoping to be able to offer the hope of getting the entire group to Canada if they are able to get out of Afghanistan. 

Audrey Bridge

Still the Chair of Rideau Bridge to Canada

AND with that..

A new team is born


In the summer of 2021, members of the former CARR executive were contacted by Audrey Bridge the chair of Rideau Bridge to Canada, a group in Merrickville who has also sponsored Syrians to Canada. They had agreed to sponsor a group of Afghans before the Taliban takeover. Once the Taliban took control of the country, the family of five expanded to a family of 15. All the family has a history of human rights activism. They feared for their safety under Taliban rule. The family fled from northern Afghanistan where they are well known and went into hiding in Kabul from February 2021 to September 2022.

In August 2021, Margo Bell and Elsie Stresman agreed to co-chair CARR on another sponsorship journey. All members of the previous executive endorsed our plan and agreed to act as advisors. We renewed our connection to the government settlement agreement holder (SAH) we had worked with previously.

In September 2022 CARR made a commitment to sponsor 8 members of the group. Working with a woman in London, a woman in Dubai, and a grassroots organization in Kabul we were able to help members of the group flee from Kabul to Islamabad Pakistan. It was a 25-hour journey with 12 hours spent in a line-up at the border. The family made it through several checkpoints not being recognized by the guards. They are currently living in an apartment hoping that their sponsorship application is approved before their visa expires.

Next Steps

 At the time of this writing, our application for sponsorship (which took 6 weeks to prepare) is being proofread by our SAH. Once it is approved, we will get it back for signatures. Then it gets sent to Ottawa. Currently the government has put a hold on all new refugee applications until 1 May 2022. Once the government approves the applications, they will be given a file number and it will be sent to the embassy in Islamabad. The file number will enable tracking of the files on the IRCC web site. In Islamabad, an immigration official will begin a security check, call them in for biometric scanning, send them for a medical and then call them in again for an in-person interview. The estimated timeline from the time the government receives the file until the arrival of the families is one to two years.


 The Board

Elsie Stresman, Co-chair
Margo Bell, Co-chair
Mary Ann McKiver, Secretary
Lynn McIntyre, Finances
Tracy Noonan, Communications
Kristy Tait-Angel & Judy Tait, Co Fundraising Coordinators
Kate McLaren, Volunteer Coordinator
Krista Hearty McLean, Member at Large


A note from the original CARR chairs

In the fall of 2019 we officially “parked The CARR”, having fulfilled our mission to resettle four families, three from Syria and one from Iraq, whose lives were torn apart by war and oppression in the Middle East.  With the fall of the Afghan government to the Taliban on August 15, 2021, once again the plight of innocent people fleeing to safety from tyranny and persecution made global news.

It is with pleasure that we announce the relaunching of CARR under the capable leadership of Elsie Stresman and Margo Bell.  Elsie and Margo served on the Executive of CARR and were instrumental in its success.  They both bring extensive experience in leadership roles, knowledge of our community, strong organizational and communication skills, and empathy and compassion for the Afghan refugees.  As so ably demonstrated with CARR, we are confident that, once again, our community has the capacity and support to expedite the resettlement of families seeking refuge in our area.


 Ann and Gord Munroe