120 Stories: Day 98

“Living in the camp was the only life I knew so I didn’t think of anywhere else as home. I always wanted to be a doctor but I know living in the camp, the only life I would have would be the same as my mother, get married and have kids. We had to get up very early in the morning and walk for one hour one way for school every day. Now that I am here I can see a different life for myself. Becoming a doctor to help heal other people is a possibility, which is something I did not see back home. When we left Djibouti to come here it was really scary for me because I was leaving the only life I knew. When we were in the camp I had to help my family with getting water every other day, I hated getting water because it was hard work. I had to walk 15 minutes each way to get 25 pounds of water. My dad would work outside of the camp because the food they gave us was not livable food for us. My life is great now, I don’t have to worry about having food for tomorrow, I have a home that is safe and school is good. I now help around the community; I help my old school Global Village Project with interpretation. I also volunteer at Clarkston free clinic and I volunteer at Emory hospital in the summer. I am helping people with filling out forms and entering their information in the system. I really want to be a doctor so my mom and dad won’t have to work anymore. My GPA now is 3.75. I want to thank CCA and my case manager. I would like to see other refugees come here and get the same help as we have.”

CCA 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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