Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Stranger in a Strange Land

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Stranger in a Strange Land photo by hdptcar www.flickr.com/photos/hdptcar/

There are almost 17 million refugees in the world today. Refugees are forced to flee their country due to persecution because of their race, religion, nationality or political opinion. Each year a certain number of refugees are permitted to resettle in the United States (U.S.).

In 2012, Aimee relocated to Phoenix through a refugee program with Catholic Charities. She had previously lived in Cameroon after fleeing Central African Republic because of the war. The Central African Republic is landlocked and boarded by Chad, Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of the Congo and Cameroon.

Aimee came to the U.S. with very little and her four children. She gave birth to her fifth child soon after arriving in Phoenix—the first American citizen in the family.

Refugee Resettlement Services

Most refugees arrive in the U.S. will little more than a suitcase. Catholic Charities provided resettlement services for Aimee and her family that included picking her up from the airport, connecting her with English classes, and enrolling her children in school.

She was coached and set out on her own to find a job and an apartment. She’s gradually learned how to take care of medical and financial needs independently.

Finding a Home

Aimee is now a legal, permanent resident in the U.S. She speaks English and is an active mother in her children’s lives.

This week Aimee came to Catholic Charities for assistance in enrolling at community college, so she can study English and pass the TEFL test. Then she will be able to enroll in regular classes, so she can continue to build her career and earn more income.

Aimee and her children have already seen positive and permanent change in their lives.  She’s only going to keep getting stronger. This family is only one of the many that we serve each year with partners like you. Together, we are making sure that refugees are finding the support they need to rebuild their lives.

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