120 Stories: Day 68

“Jean recently arrived in the United States with refugee status. After waiting for almost two and a half years, he was happily reunited with his wife and two kids living in the Atlanta area.

Jean spent many years living in Rwandan refugee camps. Conditions of camps were often unstable, and Jean was required to relocate frequently for fear of being caught in a dangerous situation. Life was not easy even when he was not on the move. Running water and electricity were non-existent. It was very difficult having to be dependent upon food arrivals for long stretches of time, especially when essentials food shipments did not arrive regularly. Finding medicine was also a significant challenge, with some medicines being almost impossible to find.

Jean is incredibly grateful to be in the United States now. He is very grateful that his kids are enrolled in school, an option they were denied while in Rwanda. They have a chance to get an education, and he is very thankful for it. His kids now have access to utilities and technology. He does not have to worry about where is food and medicine will come from. He is thankful that America is a place where laws are followed and enforced, and he feels safe because of it. And he is thankful for the people that have helped him and his family to make this transition.”

CCA Refugee Client

About 120 Stories in 120 Days

The executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Born Terrorist Entry into the United States” halts the national refugee resettlement program for 120 days and dramatically reduces the ceiling for refugee arrivals from 110,000 to 50,000. In response to this executive order, Catholic Charities Atlanta created the 120 Stories in 120 Days Project in order to tell the stories of those individuals who have fled their home due to violence or persecution.

This project will tell 120 stories of clients, staff, volunteers, and community members involved with our resettlement program. Our hope is that these stories will humanize the refugee crisis, highlight the successes and the contributions that refugees make to their local communities, and help readers understand that our similarities far outweigh our differences.

In his address to Congress in September 2015, Pope Francis reminded us all to “treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves…The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.” Catholic Charities Atlanta remains in solidarity with those we serve.

If you would like to donate to help Catholic Charities Atlanta continue our important work supporting refugees and immigrants, please click here: https://give.catholiccharitiesatlanta.org/supporting-refugees-and-immigrants.

If you have a story to share, please contact Kimberly Longshore at KLongshore@catholiccharitiesatlanta.org

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