Refugee Care & Advocacy
The “International District” has a history as being an area where many nationalities have settled. This continues to be true. Mission ABQ has had contact with many of these groups. However, in recent years, our primary work has been with Congolese Refugees.
Desire Kasi, the leader of these ministries, says “We are here due to wars in our countries, and we are facing challenges adjusting to the American lifestyle such as culture, time, job skills, social rules, and laws. Many refugees have been violated, tortured, raped, and traumatized during war. Many spent more than 10 years in refugee camps with little to no education, no job skills other than farming, no health maintenance, financial crisis, little to no resources or information and lack of opportunities. We do not know or understand how the American system works. When we arrive in the USA (NM), we are not informed enough about the American life. For example: training, cultural orientation, rules, law and safety. However, we are expected to fit in like Americans. Consequently, we have found that 90% of refugees are depressed, hopeless, anxious, jobless, and have issues with language barriers, transportation, housing (paying rent) and office miscommunication and misunderstandings. These people need a support system including medical therapy for psychological needs and support as well as mental and emotional support.”
We have begun offering English classes Mondays & Wednesdays 9am-11am and 5pm-7pm.
Personal Advocacy and translation
Desire and other members of our community have begun to help them with transportation, shopping, food, office, Dr's appointments, church, jobs, e.t.c. Additionally, we have helped them to find jobs, including transporting them to the job site to apply. Also, we have provided translation for them at the Department of Human Services and other agencies. We have also helped them with getting their Driver's license and state ID's.