Bekele Woyecha


Bekele is the Director of UK Welcomes Refugees, an organisation set up to build Community Sponsorship together with others and strengthen the Community Sponsorship movement. He was one of the founders of Sponsor Refugees Foundation, where he worked as a Senior Project Manager until June 2020. Bekele has been highly involved in the Refugee Welcome movement in the UK since 2015 and was among the pioneers of the Community Sponsorship scheme in the UK. He worked as a Community Organiser with Citizens UK for over 9 years in different capacities. Bekele was the Human Rights Defender Fellow of the University of Nottingham in 2009, where he studied International Human Rights Law. He also studied Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston, USÁ. Bekele also attended the Global Change Agents Program at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University. Bekele was the 2018 Churchill Fellow which took him to Canada to study about Canada’s Refugee Sponsorship program. Bekele is working with locals in Croydon to build a Community Sponsorship group and welcome a family through the scheme.

Bekele was a former refugee. Before moving to the UK, he held senior managerial positions in government departments in Ethiopia. Bekele also studied at the Addis Ababa University and graduated with BA Degree in Management in 1992. Outside of work, Bekele serves as a trustee for a charity and as a chairman of the local school’s parents council. He was one of the Games Makers at the London 2012 Olympics and NHS volunteer responder. Bekele says, “My experience of Community Sponsorship is that it changes power dynamics as the partnership between community sponsors and sponsored families is that of friends.”

Bekele regularly writes on his blog,  and tweets.


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