By NICHOLE GOLDEN, Staff Writer | Published December 23, 2014
ATLANTA—The family of Evariste Kabahizi, refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, arrived in Atlanta in late August after spending 19 years in a Rwandan refugee camp. They had been driven from their homeland by war.
Kabahizi, 74, and his wife, Colette Mukandori, 57, were just beginning the journey to become part of America, along with their two daughters, Josephine Safi, 21, and Henriette Muhoza, 16. They were being served by Catholic Charities Atlanta’s Refugee Resettlement Program, which continues to help them.
When they were featured in a Georgia Bulletin article in October, they needed the help of a translator to communicate.
Frances McBrayer, program director of CCA refugee resettlement, said the family’s English skills have improved, and they are making progress. “All seem to be adjusting well,” said McBrayer.
Henriette is attending school and doing well in the ninth grade. Her older sister, Josephine, is working. She plans to further develop her English language skills on the job to have the fluency to begin GED classes.
Earlier this year, both Henriette and Josephine said education and work were their primary goals.
Their mother, Colette, goes to English classes regularly, and Evariste had a great family friend who practiced English with him for the first several months.
The family found a parish home at Corpus Christi Church in Stone Mountain, said McBrayer.
Lizzie Schroeder, the family’s case manager, helped them access primary care doctors and specialists, and everyone is receiving care.
“We are very thankful to have the medical resources they need here in Atlanta,” said McBrayer.
On Dec. 15, the family received Christmas gifts from Catholic Charities’ Christmas Connection program and communicated their gratitude to everyone who helped make their first Christmas in the United States such a special one.
To view the original story, visit: http://bit.ly/gb-Refugeeupdate.