Colorado African Organization (CAO) supports Colorado's refugee, immigrant, and asylum-seeking populations in their pursuit of integration, self-sufficiency and freedom.
CAO is a local home for an international community, with the cultural and linguistic capacity to assist 86% of all refugees resettled in Colorado. Consequently, CAO not only assists individuals with their integration, but also has a suite of assets to help other organizations be more inclusive, establish a broader reach, and achieve their program performance goals.
Colorado African Organization (CAO) is a 501(c)(3), founded in 2003 by Africans for Africans. It was formed as an umbrella self-help organization of the various African populations residing in Colorado, particularly for the refugee communities. CAO wanted to create a place where groups could work together towards integration, rather than allowing the divisiveness of their past define their futures in America. We expanded our mission in 2014 to include advancing the cause of integration by fostering education, self-sufficiency, and empowerment for all refugees, asylum-seekers, and immigrants (not just Africans). CAO again expanded its mission in 2017, in order to leverage the trust and access it has with refugee communities to assist other organizations to better achieve their strategic goals through outreach, focus groups, and community-based participatory research.
Colorado African Organization (CAO) assists individuals such as Anisa and Lilian:
Anisa was forced to leave Mogadishu, Somalia after an explosion destroyed her home. She remained steadfast and determined as she navigated an incredibly long road that included a two-month voyage across the Sahara. Anisa utilized the supportive services at CAO to become better engaged with her children's schools, for legal support, and to secure safe and affordable housing.
Lilian fled the Congo with her husband and small children, and never imagined she would find herself happy again in America. By participating in CAO citizenship classes Lillian was able to attain U.S. Citizenship and pursued her dream to become a nurse.
CAO also assists other organizations achieve their outreach and inclusion goals, as it recently did for the University of Denver's Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management Ready for American Hospitality program, as demonstrated by the program director's testimonial:
"The assistance of CAO's community navigators in building a class list and procuring referrals for the Ready for American Hospitality refugee/immigrant training program was essential. CAO's community navigator's contact and relationship with the Refugee/Immigrant/Asylum Seeker communities made this process professional and collaborative."
On behalf of Anisa and Lilian, their families and communities, our many organizational partners such as Ready for American Hospitality, and everyone at CAO - THANK YOU!