Amadi and his family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo and were able to build a new life in our area, thanks to World Relief Fox Valley.
By Tami McLaughlin, Director, World Relief Fox Valley
In August 2020, World Relief Fox Valley welcomed our 1,000th refugee since our beginning in 2012. While this special arrival marked a milestone, every refugee who is welcomed in the Fox Valley is equally as celebrated. Refugees are people who’ve fled their homelands in the midst of war, violence and persecution and many have lived in refugee camps for years before being approved and accepted for resettlement in the United States. Often families have been separated and the family members who we have welcomed previously anxiously await to be reunited with their loved ones.
World Relief’s initial work includes providing vital services to ensure that the most basic needs of refugees are being met. Securing and furnishing housing, scheduling medical and benefit appointments and providing training and orientations are a few of the ways we serve. These services support refugees as they seek stability and become established. It’s not unusual for refugees who have been the recipients of the welcome from the Fox Valley community to contribute back and help welcome other newcomers, such as assisting in setting up an apartment.
World Relief’s employment specialist works to find suitable and sustainable employment which moves a refugee family beyond stability to a deeper level of integration. Amadi and his family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo and when they arrived in the Fox Valley he knew he would be OK. One of his dreams was to buy a house and he was told that even refugees can get a loan and once you pay it off, it’s your home forever.
After several years of working hard, Amadi’s dream came true. He bought a home, is paying extra money each month to pay off the loan faster, and he prays to God that he stays healthy and keeps his job so he can continue to pay his mortgage. “There is something special about America”, says Amadi.
Thanks to the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region and the SECURA Insurance Companies Charitable Fund for partnering with World Relief Fox Valley as our community continues to welcome refugees and help them find a sense of unity, belonging and a place they can truly call home.