This past summer, LSS/NCA welcomed a family of seven from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Baltimore. Having escaped one of the worst armed conflicts in recent history, the family has been given new hope in America. When LSS/NCA staff picked them up at BWI airport, they were dressed in their finest attire, ready to begin their new lives.
Jean, the father, stated that he was incredibly happy to be in America so his children can attend school. The refugee camp in which they had been living for years provided primary school for free, but because of the family’s financial limitations, the oldest children have been unable to continue their education past 6th grade. The school-aged children eagerly awaited the beginning of school this fall so they could meet new friends.
Partnerships have helped to make the resettlement of this family possible. Housing has been provided for two years in Baltimore by Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS). Christ Lutheran Church of Baltimore generously provided each family member with most of the items needed for their new home, including beds, linens, toiletries, kitchen supplies, among other things the family would will need to begin again. The family is also looking forward to the moment when they can decorate a Christmas tree together for the first time in the United States. Volunteers from the church have been taking the family on outings to get groceries, clothing, and immunizations. One member of the church even gave the family a walking tour of Baltimore – in French!
Both parents are already taking English classes and are starting the process of job-hunting so they are able to provide for their family. We are grateful for our partnership with LIRS and Christ Lutheran Church—with their help and your support, we have been able to provide this large family with the guidance and basic needs they require to begin their hopeful new life in America.
Less than 1% of all refugees worldwide will be able to resettle in another country. If you would like to make this new year the greatest yet for a refugee family adjusting to the United States, please fill out a Volunteer Interest Form to learn more about how you can help.