120 Stories: Day 74
“I am from Burma and have been in the U.S. since last December. I left Burma because I got citizenship there, but my daughter did not. I would have to report to the government that she was in Burma every week, even though she is my daughter. It was no longer safe and we fled to Malaysia. We had no documents in Malaysia and were being chased by cops and could not work freely. Then, I was able to register as a refugee with the UN for religious persecution.
My favorite part of living in the U.S. is freedom. Because back home if someone knocked on our door, we did not know who it could be since it could have been the government looking for us. You can also go anywhere here in the U.S. and no one will bother you. Also, I can practice my religion (Islam) freely and you have rights…and opportunities.
I want to get reunited with my daughter and grandchild. I wish they could come join me in the U.S. I am anxious about getting sick or something happening to me in the future and [not having anyone] here to take care of me.”
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