CRA raises funds and awareness

Continental Rescue Africa, a Canadian non-profit organization, aims to empower youth and women to take charge and become leaders of the future. The organization began its work at UTM this year and hopes to raise money for the many programs and sponsorships offered to women and children in Africa and Ontario through events.

The idea for the organization began in 2003 when Shakira Abubakar, then in grade 10 in Brampton, began a program called “Project Darfur” in order to educate her peers in genocide and creating a platform for change. After a year of running Project Darfur, Abubakar saw the need to expand her cause and began Continental Rescue Africa in 2004.

The non-profit organization’s mission is to work towards eradicating poverty, gender-based violence, and discrimination. CRA also works promote interests of women in all aspects of life and raises awareness about culture and non-violence.

CRA now has many sectors around the world, including Ottawa, Ghana, and Uganda, and works alongside Africa Change International, a non-profit organization that aims to educate and equip children living in extreme poverty with sports skills.

CRA’s UTM sector is run by Mariana Comito, CRA’s Canadian director and president of the CRA club on campus. UTM’s sector began two years ago and is looking for members interested in working to empower women and youth living in poverty.

“We want women and children to become confident individuals and provide them with resources which will able them to create a positive impact in their communities,” said Comito. “We have overseas programs like the Zuarungu Community Orphan Educational Support (Z-COESU) whereby we give support for orphans, educational development, entrepreneurship skill training, and our sisters of substance program.”

Comito is a double major in biology and English literature and has worked as a leadership mentor in previous years. She hopes that her work with CRA will help to create a platform for women and youth to create change.

Last year CRA’s UTM sector sponsored a student from Africa to come to UTM for a university education.

Through events and fundraising, CRA donated school supplies to students in Ghana and raised money to keep an orphanage open.

UTM’s CRA sector will be holding a potluck on November 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Student Centre. All are welcome to participate and donate to the cause. All proceeds collected will go to programs and sponsorships of the organization.

For more information about Continental Rescue Africa, students are urged to visit their website at For volunteer opportunities on campus, or to become a member of CRA’s UTM sector, students can contact Comito at

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