Mussie Yemane

Calgary’s Eritrean community wants feds to open more refugee sponsorships

“It’s sad,” he said.

Yemane estimates there are more than 7,000 Eritrean-Calgarians, possibly the second largest population of Eritreans in Canada, behind Toronto.

He says nearly everyone has relatives who want to come here as refugees.

“I was surprised. I was expecting like 20 or 30 people who show up,” he said.

“That shows you the demand.”

Yemane’s was among about 327 names not picked.

“People say, ‘we try all the time, we can’t get it’, but it’s fair,” he said of the lottery system.

“It’s open. We just… draw the numbers. That’s as fair as we can get.”