By michelle-lee : The Free For All Foundation organized a fundraising Memorial Breakfast recently in honor of 9-year-old Kesean Williams, who died after being shot watching TV in his own home January 23rd. The event, held at David Suzuki Secondary School in Brampton, raised $2,500. Community leaders, including Brampton’s Mayor, Susan Fennell, spoke of supporting Kesean’s mother and Kajan, his 15-year-old brother. School Trustee David Green, who is Executive Director of Free For All, says a scholarship has been created in Kesean’s name and will be awarded each year at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School. He said the first one will be given to Kajan with the funds placed in trust until he is ready to attend college or university. Tanya Garvey, Kesean’s mother emotionally thanked the organization and supporters. She said, “People already know guns kill. Guns destroy a family and break hearts. Once you pull the trigger and take that action, you can’t take that action back. I want people to realize that”.
Convictions plus Acquittal: Four men were convicted of manslaughter in the jailhouse death of Kevon Phillip, 24, who was beaten to death on January 2nd, 2010. Abdi Mohamed 23, Christopher Fearon 29, Hussein Nur 24 and Nathaniel Grant 28, all of whom had pleaded not guilty in Ontario Superior Court of second degree murder, were convicted after a jury deliberated for six days before finding them guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter. A fifth man, Said Mohamed 25, was acquitted. Justice Brian Trafford will pass sentence June 29th.
Members of the Eritrean community were shocked to learn that the partial remains of a woman reportedly believed to be Rigat Ghirmay, were found in a duffel bag May 24th. Adonay Zekaris, 41, has been charged with indignity to a dead body. An intensive search for the remainder of the victim’s remains is ongoing. Zekaris has been described as Ghirmay’s boyfriend and as a serious soft-spoken man.
Semere Ghebremariam O. Micael, Eritrea’s Consul General in Toronto has been declared Persona Non Grata, expelled from Canada and must leave by June 5th said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Micael was under investigation for collecting an illegal 2% tax levy from expatriates in Canada to bankroll Eritrea’s military regime, in violation of international sanctions and Canadian Law. The U.N. Security Council adapted a resolution in December 2011 that condemned Eritrea’s use of the tax on expatriates to purchase weapons. Canada also issued a strong warning to the consulate. Micael said he was happy to be returning to Eritrea.
Aya Oryem came to Canada from Uganda in 1995. She worked for Goodwill (an organization that provides among other services, work opportunities in its thrift shops) for about 15 years before she was laid off. She enrolled in a self-employment program where she was advised to continue in the second-hand business. She started her company Kiden Thrifty in early 2009 and sold clothing, collectibles, jewelry and household items. On January 8th, after she closed her shop for the day and went home, an electrical fire in the basement broke out causing considerable damage. She had no insurance. Her shop is now closed permanently leaving Aya without income and a job. She has received support from her church in the form of food vouchers and emotional support. Her church has also set up a fund for donations at TD Bank. Aya needs $5,000. To replace fixtures lost in the fire (i.e. cash register, hangers, etc.). She is also searching for a new location because rents are increasing in her former location at Gerrard and Sherbourne. Anyone interested in donating may do so at any TD Bank – Transit No. 1223, Account 6044421